Massive increase in cyber attacks in 2022

By Elisavet Goutman January 24, 2023

Massive increase in cyber attacks in 2022

Universities, research centers, state and military services, hospitals, communication infrastructure and banks have received numerous cyberattacks in 2022; and the worst is yet to come.

It is estimated that more than 1.000 cyberattacks per organisation take place throughout the universe, which is 38% more than 2021. In Europe in particular, the average number of attacks per target reached 1.000, with an increase of 26% when compared to 2021. In a worse position one can find the Americans, as they faced an increase of 52%!

According to the annual Report by Check Point, a major issue seems to be the cyberattackers’ profile, who target sensitive personal data, classified information, company information and bank accounts. Those are small and agile groups, who broaden their field of action in applications of corporate communication such as Teams and OneDrive, with phishing “tools”. If one takes into consideration the fact that many companies still work remotely, the reason of this targeting becomes obvious.

Universities and research centers were the most popular targets. That was a consequence of the need for a quick digitalization, due to the Covid pandemic. In 2022 every educational organisation worldwide received more than 2.000 attacks every week. That constituted an increase of 43% when compared to 2021! The annual Report mentions that educational institutions were rather taken aback when setting on line learning courses. That allowed the internet “gangs” to infiltrate in many ways, and throw a party there!

Taking into consideration that in this educational chain many young students participated, using their own devices that were sometimes connected to a public wi-fi, without any safety shields, one can realise that they have been an easy prey for the cyber- criminals.

The second target were state and military services, with more than 1.600 attacks per week. However, what draws special attention is the increased attacks by 74% in the health sector, and especially hospitals.

As noted in the Report, the cyber-attackers target mainly hospitals, because the security systems have severe flaws. Especially smaller units are considered vulnerable, due to lack of funding, and understaffing.

When it comes to the motives, the answer is simple. The attacks aim at deriving data from files of insurance, medical data and social security numbers. The attacks are performed mainly using ransomware, by asking those afflicted sums of money in order to get back their files.

According to Check Point, the worst is yet to come. With AI technology widely spreading to the public, new horizons are opened for the cyber -criminals, who will have the chance to produce, quicker and more automated malware.

This article was also published on our partner’s OTS Medium Channel.