New data on cyberattack trends cites a 38% increase in global attacks in 2022, compared to 2021, according to Check Point Research. The escalation of cyberattacks is attributed to more agile hackers and ransomware gangs who focused on exploiting collaboration tools used by remote workers and schools and educational institutions that shifted to e-learning during the pandemic, as well as a significant increase in attacks on healthcare organizations.

Specifically, the uptick in global cyberattacks for the year is driven largely by:

  • A growing number of smaller, more agile criminal groups who targeted business collaboration tools, such as Slack, Teams, OneDrive and Google Drive, that were used during the pandemic and continue to be used by businesses to enable remote work.
  • The rapid digitalization of academic institutions responding to the pandemic, which led to vulnerable data. Schools and other educational facilities were not prepared for the unexpected shift to online learning and many students used their own devices to connect to public WiFi, creating easy targets for hackers. As matter of fact, according to the report, the education/research sector was the number-one, most-attacked market, globally, with a 43% increase in 2022, when compared to 2021.
  • A growing number of cyberattacks on the healthcare industry contributed to the overall upswing in 2022’s cyberattack landscape. Healthcare facilities in the U.S. alone saw an average of 1,410 weekly cyberattacks per organization in 2022, an 86% increase compared to the previous year. The upsurge in attacks on healthcare is likely due to the value of health insurance information, medical records and social security numbers.

When looking at the occurrence of attacks by region, the report found that North America, Latin America and Europe saw the largest increases in cyberattacks in 2022, compared to 2021, at 52%, 29% and 26% higher, respectively. However, by country, the most attacked were the U.S., which suffered a 57% escalation, the U.K., which experienced a 77% increase and Singapore, which saw a 26% rise in overall cyberattacks in 2022 from the previous year.

The report also examined the number of cyberattacks by industry, globally, in 2022, finding that the education/research sector was the most attacked industry in 2022, with an average of 2,314 attacks per organization every week (a 43% increase over the previous year). Government/military was the second largest target, experiencing an average of 1,661 attacks per organization every week in 2022 (a 46% increase over the previous year), followed closely by the healthcare industry, which had an average of 1,463 attacks per organization each week in 2022 (a 74% increase over the previous year). Rounding out the top-five most-attacked industries were communications with 1,380 attacks per organization per week in 2022 (a 27% increase over 2021) and the Internet Service Provider/Managed Service Provider (ISP/MSP) industry with 1,372 attacks per organization per week in 2022 (a 28% increase over 2021).

For more information on the report, click here.