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Cyberattacks are nothing new and have existed for most of the past three decades since the time the Internet became a crucial part of our lives. However, the prevalence and severity of such attacks have grown at an alarming rate year-after-year and as on date India stands third on a list of countries that have been the target of cyber criminals.
Such has been the severity in recent times that Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that the global economy would end up suffering losses to the tune of $6 trillion per year by 2021 on account of cybercrimes. India stands to lose considerably due to these nefarious activities, says a report shared by Specops Software based on its analysis of data provided by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The data from countries across the world that experienced the most cyber attacks and were classified as significant between May 2006 and June 2020 have been considered for the report. The report says that “significant cyber attacks” are defined as those made on a country’s government agencies, defense and high-tech companies, or economic crimes with losses equating to more than a million dollars.
Specops Software found that America has been victim to the most cyber attacks categorised as significant (156) between May 2006 – June 2020. In other words, it had an average of eleven very serious cyber attacks each year since 2006. One of the most recent (May 2020) breaches aimed towards the USA has been brought to light by the National Security Agency (NSA), who 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 which was subject to 47 cyber attacks categorised as significant during the period of which one was targeted against the British Labour Party’s digital platforms during last year’s general elections.
Right behind the UK stood India which saw 23 significant cyber attacks, with the latest one coming last month where malware was deployed against nine human rights activists to log their keystrokes, record their audio, and steal their personal credentials.
Darren James, a cyber security expert with Specops Software says, “No one can rest on their laurels when it comes to cyber security. 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,” he concludes.