US cyber attacks 2023 report is here and the result is alarming. The United States of America has a nominal GDP of $20.89 trillion, followed by a GDP per capita of $63,413 and a GDP – Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of $20.89 trillion. This data translates into the total value of all goods and services produced within a country’s borders during a specific period, typically a year. With the maximum valued of goods and services transferred in and out of the country, the US has become the “most targeted country for cyber attacks.”
In recent years, we have seen an increase in cyberattacks, and the trend is not slowing down. Cyberattacks have become a significant threat to individuals, organizations, and governments worldwide. This blog will explore how cyberattacks have increased over the years and the reasons behind this concerning trend, with a special focus on US data breaches and statistics.
In the past, cyberattacks were primarily carried out by individuals looking for personal gain or notoriety. However, cyberattacks have become more sophisticated, frequent, and widespread over the years. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, the spike in state-sponsored cyber attacks has increased tremendously, with a 300% increase targeting users in NATO countries, compared to 2020.
Moreover, cybercrime has caused an estimated $6 trillion in damages in 2022 alone, showing no signs of slowing down. The number of breached accounts is expected to hit a staggering 33 billion in 2023, highlighting the scale of the problem. In fact, the FBI’s 2021 IC3 report found that phishing is responsible for almost 22% of all data breaches, making it one of the most common cybercrimes.
US Cyber Attacks 2023: How does a leading country become the prime target of hackers?
Cyber incidents have become increasingly common, and it is not a question of if but when a country will be targeted. Recent data shows that some countries are more vulnerable than others regarding cyber-attacks. The reasons for this vary from the type of organization targeted, the motivation behind the attack to the geopolitical climate. According to IS Decisions, upon analyzing the last eight years of open-source data, the US has become the most exposed nation to cyberattacks. US data breaches have the most prolonged effects on its economy.
US Cyber Attacks 2023 trends
The United States of America is the most common target for cybercriminals. The report analyzed US cyber attacks 2023 and compared it from 2020 to 2022 and found that US-based organizations suffered 49% of all attacks. It is important to note that almost two-thirds of those attacks had profit in mind through ransomware attacks. Since 2020, eight of the 10 most enormous ransoms have been paid by US-based companies.
The high number of cyber attacks in the US can be attributed to the fact that it is home to many large corporations and government agencies. This makes it an attractive target for cybercriminals looking to make a profit. Furthermore, the US has a robust digital infrastructure, making it easier for attackers to launch successful attacks.
United Kingdom data breaches
While the United Kingdom suffered fewer attacks than the US, it still remains a target for cybercriminals. Around 6% of attacks analyzed were aimed at UK-based organizations. While financial gain was the most common motive (55%), the UK also suffered a slightly higher percentage of political espionage and protest attacks than the USA.
With only one of the top 10 ransom payments coming from the UK, it suggests that attackers see US-based organizations as a more lucrative target. The UK’s high-tech industry and financial sector make it an attractive target for cybercriminals. Furthermore, the UK has been a vocal critic of state-sponsored cyber attacks, making it a possible target for retaliation.
Data breaches in Italy, France, and Germany
European Union (EU)-based countries, Italy, France, and Germany, also faced many cyber attacks. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has imposed harsh penalties for data breaches, and attackers may use GDPR as leverage to extort more money from European countries.
Furthermore, attackers could see EU-based data as a valuable target. According to US Cyber Attacks 2023 report, money is the primary motivation for attacks on organizations based in France, Italy, and Germany. This highlights the importance of cybersecurity for businesses and organizations operating within the EU.
Data breaches in Russia and Ukraine
Geopolitical causes have also made a massive impact on cyber attacks. As the Russia-Ukraine war began, cyber attacks against the two countries grew by 950% and 400%, respectively. Understandably, the protest was the most common motive in Russia and sabotage was the most common motive in Ukraine.
The data also shows a similar trend in 2017, when sabotage numbers grew globally by 400% compared to 2016. Most of these attacks were also aimed at Ukraine using the Petya malware. This highlights the importance of cybersecurity for countries facing geopolitical tensions.
Countries most active in cyber attacks
Amidst a vast sea of cyber attacks, 81% of them remain shrouded in mystery, with their origins obscured and untraceable. It’s a daunting trend that suggests that many attackers are employing sophisticated measures to cover their tracks and evade detection.
But what about the remaining 19% of attacks? Nearly half of them – a whopping 47% – can be traced back to cybercriminals based in the Russian Federation. It’s a concerning statistic that’s made even more ominous because a significant portion of ransomware profits – a staggering 74% – are being funneled into Russian-linked accounts.
The United States, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Azerbaijan also make appearances on the list of origin countries for cyber attacks, but it’s Russia that stands out as the primary source of digital malfeasance.
It’s worth noting that Russia and Iran appear on the CISA nation-state cyber risk list, indicating that attacks from these countries often serve the interests of their respective governments. So, what does it mean that 81% of attackers hide their locations? Nation-state attackers may be responsible for a disproportionate amount of cybercrime and are less concerned with concealing their activities.
Alternatively, it could be that attackers from these countries have less incentive to cover their tracks, given the protection they receive from their governments. Either way, it’s a sobering reminder that the threat of cyber attacks remains ever-present and constantly evolving.
US Cyber Attacks 2023 and the Most Attacked Industries
As our world becomes increasingly digitized, the threat of cyber attacks looms larger. From identity theft to ransomware, malicious actors are constantly searching for vulnerabilities to exploit, according to the US Cyber Attacks 2023 report. And while no industry is entirely immune to these threats, some are more vulnerable than others.
From healthcare to finance, many such industries are attractive to attackers, and the IS Decisions report highlights those industries most vulnerable to hackers. According to the US Cyber Attacks 2023 report, government and public administration have been hit the hardest, with nearly 20% of all attacks targeting these organizations.
The motives behind these attacks are often related to the valuable and confidential data they possess, which could be of national security significance. To combat such threats, the US government has made it mandatory for all government agencies and contractors with access to national security systems to implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) requirements.
The healthcare industry comes in second, with 13% of all attacks directed toward it. The risks associated with cyber threats in healthcare range from disrupting critical services to stealing sensitive patient data, as seen in the NHS server breach when attackers gained access using stolen credentials.
The information sector, which includes telecommunications, computing, publishing, broadcasting, and other media outlets, comes in third position, accounting for approximately 11% of all attacks. With the rise in attacks against national infrastructure, attackers find opportunities for knock-on supply chain disruption in this sector, even though it offers potential financial gains.
The education sector is not spared from cyber attacks, with 10% of attacks directed toward schools, universities, and other educational institutions. Attackers may target valuable information, intellectual property, and personal data, as these institutions often have comparatively weak cybersecurity measures.
Professional services and insurance industries are not immune to cybercrime, as they deal with sensitive data and large sums of money. As many of these organizations are small or medium-sized businesses (SMBs), they may lack the expertise or budget to implement robust cybersecurity measures, making them up to three times more likely to suffer a cyber attack.