New Delhi: In 2022, global cyberattacks increased by 38 per cent as compared to 2021, with healthcare being the most targeted industry in India, a new report showed on Thursday.
According to Check Point Research (CPR), these cyberattack numbers were driven by smaller, more agile hackers and ransomware gangs, who focused on exploiting collaboration tools used in work-from-home environments, targeting education institutions that shifted to e-learning post-Covid-19.
“Hackers like to target hospitals because they perceive them as short on cyber security resources with smaller hospitals particularly vulnerable, as they are underfunded and understaffed to handle a sophisticated cyberattack,” said Omer Dembinsky, Data Group Manager at Check Point Software.
“The healthcare sector is so lucrative to hackers as they aim to retrieve health insurance information, medical records numbers, and sometimes, even social security numbers with direct threats from ransomware gangs to patients, demanding payment under threats of having patient records released,” he added.
Moreover, the reports revealed that the global volume of cyberattacks reached an all-time high in Q4, with an average of 1168 weekly attacks per organisation. The top three most attacked industries in 2022 were Healthcare, Education/Research, and Government/Military.
Africa experienced the highest volume of attacks with 1,875 weekly attacks per organisation, followed by APAC with 1,691 weekly attacks per organisation, according to the report.Further, North America (+52 per cent), Latin America (+29 per cent) and Europe (+26 per cent) showed the largest increases in cyberattacks in 2022, compared to 2021.
The US saw a 57 per cent increase in overall cyberattacks in 2022, the UK saw a 77 per cent increase, and Singapore saw a 26 per cent increase, said the report.
The report warns that with AI technologies like ChatGPT readily available to the public, hackers can generate malicious code and emails at a faster, more automated pace.