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Cyberattacks On The Rise: Healthcare, Finance Industries Hit Hardest

A total of 117 million victims were impacted by data breaches in the healthcare and finance industries in 2023, according to a new study.

With 809 data breaches, the healthcare industry faced the highest number of cyberattacks in 2023 — a 136% increase from 2022, according to a new study. The financial services industry is the second most at-risk industry, with 744 data violation cases in 2023.

The new study, conducted by data collection experts SOAX using data from the Identity Theft Resource Center, revealed a “shocking increase” in cyberattacks from 2022 to 2023. The study explored the number of data violation cases from 2020 to 2023 by industry. Each industry was ranked based on its number of data violation cases in 2023, revealing the industries most at risk.

Cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, posing a threat to industries across the United States. The 2023 data underscores the pressing need for industries to invest in cybersecurity measures, particularly in the most vulnerable sectors.

data breaches, healthcare industry
(Photo: Adobe Stock / JJ Gouin)

The healthcare industry was the most vulnerable sector with 809 data violation cases in 2023. The number of incidents soared from 343 in 2022. Further data revealed that these cases affected 56 million victims within the healthcare industry, underscoring the profound impact cyberattacks have on the industry.

The financial services industry ranked second most at risk, with 744 reported data violation cases in 2023. Additionally, the sector witnessed a notable surge in cyber incidents, with reported cases skyrocketing from 269 in 2022 to 744 in 2023 — a 177% increase, the highest among all industries. Out of the 744 reported data cases, 61 million victims were affected, indicating that this industry needs more protection from cybercriminals.

Other At-Risk Industries

The professional services industry ranked third in 2023 with 308 reported data breaches, which impacted 30 million victims. This sector also experienced a notable increase of 38% compared to previous years, with just 223 reported data violation cases in 2022.

Ranking fourth among the most vulnerable industries is manufacturing, which faced 259 data breach incidents due to cyberattacks in 2023, impacting five million victims.

In 2023, the education sector experienced the fifth-highest count of data breach incidents, affecting four million victims. This marked a 73% rise compared to the previous year, witnessing 173 data breach cases in 2023 as opposed to 100 cases in 2022.

Data Violation Cases Due To Cyberattacks In The U.S. From 2020-2023, By Industry

Sources: SOAX / Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) – 2023 Data Breach Report

Among sectors facing significant risk, the technology industry stands out, ranking sixth in 2023 with 167 data breach incidents. These breaches affected 65 million victims.

The retail sector experienced the seventh-highest number of data breach incidents in 2023, totaling 119 cases. These breaches resulted in 10 million victims being affected by cyberattacks.

The non-profit/NGO sector occupies the eighth spot, grappling with 105 data breach incidents and 10 million victims in 2023. Following closely in ninth position is the transportation industry, contending with 101 cyberattack-induced cases and 12 million data violation victims in 2023.

Finally, securing the 10th position is the government sector, enduring 100 data violation cases in 2023, impacting 15 million victims nationwide. There was a slight uptick from the 74 reported cases in 2022, reflecting a 35% increase.

The study also identified industries that experienced minimal impact from cybercriminal activities. The human resources/staffing sector was the least affected, with just 10 reported data violation incidents in 2023, affecting 239,000 individuals. The social services sector saw 15 instances of data breaches in 2023, affecting just 193,000 individuals.

“The study has identified a concerningly sharp rise in cyber incidents across all U.S. industries in 2023, which is particularly alarming, especially within the healthcare and financial services industries,” commented Stepan Solovev, CEO & Co-founder at SOAX. “These sectors store vast amounts of sensitive information, making them lucrative targets for cybercriminals.

“Maintaining effective cybersecurity practices is crucial for mitigating risks and protecting against potential breaches,” he continued. “It is crucial that organizations within these sectors continue to invest in cybersecurity defence mechanisms. This includes thorough and regular employee training, encouraging staff to stay vigilant against cyber threats.

“The increase in attacks demonstrates that cybercriminals pose an increasing threat. Industries must adapt and evolve with these technological advancements to ensure they are protected from cyberattacks.”

Read more about business resilience and continuity at Continuity Insights.

Business Continuity, Cyberattacks, Cybersecurity, Data Breach Report, Data Breaches, Finance Industry, Healthcare Industry, Identity Theft Resource Center, SOAX

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