Fintech and ecommerce companies were the most popular cybercrime targets last year

How to prevent cyberattacks
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2023 saw an “unprecedented surge” in cyberattacks, which grew both in number and intensity, a report from Qrator Labs has claimed.

The company suggests the surge is, in part, due to the expansion of communication channels and the rise of new protocols that improved the efficiency of remote working.

The report found the fintech and ecommerce sectors were the two most targeted industries of all, making up more than half of all attacks registered last year. Fintech took up more than a third (36.88%) of the share, and ecommerce a quarter (24.95%). Other industries worth mentioning are education tech - 9.86%, online gaming and IT - 7.34%, and telecommunications - 6.01%.

Long-lasting commercial attacks

For Victor Zyamzin, global head of business development at Qrator Labs, the findings are a clear signal businesses need to improve their cybersecurity posture. “These findings underscore the critical need for enhanced cybersecurity measures across various industries, as malicious actors continue to exploit vulnerabilities in digital infrastructure with alarming frequency,” Zyamzin said.

The longest recorded attack was against an airport, lasting three days. An unnamed bank suffered the second-longest attack, which went on for 42 hours. Most attacks were commercial and, as the researchers said, ordered.

“Interestingly, attackers are now using local traffic sources more often to bypass geo-blocking and get closer to their victims’ regions’” Zyamzin added. The majority of attacks happened in the United States (11.76%) and China (5%), followed by Singapore, Germany, Indonesia, Brazil, and India. 

Phishing, business email compromise (BEC), and ransomware, remain the biggest threats to organizations around the world. Last year, ransomware hit an unfortunate milestone, surpassing $1.1 billion in ransom payments made, analysts Chainalysis reported in early February this year.

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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.