Cyber Attacks Surge: Public Sector Under Fire

January 24, 2024
1 min read

TLDR: According to a report by KnowBe4, cyber attacks against government agencies and public sector services increased by 40% in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the first. The report highlights the sharp rise in cyber attacks in this sector and provides possible defenses to safeguard against them. Some key findings include: (1) Government agencies and law practices experienced the largest spike in ransomware attacks at 95% in quarter three of 2023; (2) Global ransomware attacks were up by 95% in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022; (3) The cost of a data breach increased by 15% over three years; (4) Generative AI is increasingly being adopted by cyber criminals to create sophisticated social engineering attacks. The report emphasizes the need for comprehensive security awareness training to strengthen the human aspect of cybersecurity within organizations.

In our current digital era, common tactics of social engineering such as phishing, vishing, spear phishing, and smishing continue to be the most popular and effective tactics used by cybercriminals to gain access to systems and initiate their attacks. The report suggests that employees, as the last line of defense, can inadvertently become the weakest link in the security chain. Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4, emphasizes the importance of continuous reinforcement of a strong security culture to counteract social engineering tactics.

The report concludes that the public sector is an attractive target for cybercriminals due to the valuable personal data held by government agencies and public sector services. It highlights the urgent need for increased cybersecurity measures and training in order to defend against the rising wave of attacks in this sector.

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