India, South Korea, Australia and China in top ten countries most targeted by significant cyber attacks - Specops

The prevalence and severity of cyber attacks are increasing at an alarming rate every year. So much so, that statistics estimate cybercrime will cost the global economy a colossal $6 trillion per year by 2021.

The latest data from the Center for Strategic and International Studies indicates that North America has been victim to the most significant cyber attacks between May 2006 – June 2020. The equivalent of 11 very serious cyber attacks each year since 2006.

Significant cyber attacks are defined as cyber attacks on a country’s government agencies, defense and high-tech companies, or economic crimes with losses equating to more than a million dollars.

One of the most recent (May 2020) breaches aimed towards the US has been brought to light by the National Security Agency (NSA), which found that Russian hackers are exploiting a bug in a commonly used email server to infiltrate sensitive data from American organisations.

In second position is the United Kingdom. Falling prey to 23 significant cyber attacks, rising powerhouse India ranks in third place.

Australia is in sixth place with 16 momentous cyber attacks recorded. The most recent compromise was announced last month (June 2020) by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said Australia’s government agencies and essential businesses/services were being targeted by large-scale sophisticated cyber attacks.

Interestingly, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia have each experienced the same number (15) of significant cyber attacks between May 2006 and June 2020.

On the other end, North Korea has only recorded five significant cyber attacks. Faring much better than neighboring South Korea, who have suffered from 18 major cyber attacks. 

“No one can rest on their laurels when it comes to cyber security,” says Darren James, a cyber security experts from Specops Software. “This research highlights the frequency of cyber attacks which have devastatingly affected key political, social and economic institutions within different countries.”

”Whilst some countries have had to deal with more cyber attacks classified as significant than others, it’s an important reminder for those in notable positions of power the role they can play in providing the public sufficient and continual governance on what online best practices they can implement to prevent their IT estate from being exploited by opportunistic cyber criminals.”