3 High-Risk Industries for Cybersecurity Breaches

Every organization is inherently at risk for a data breach. Even those that use very little technology, which is few and far between, are at risk. However, hackers know where the money is, and that’s where they target their efforts. They will zero in on the industries with the most valuable data and do what they can to gain access. 

When we say “most valuable data,” we don’t always mean credit card numbers and bank account information, though those are obviously very valuable. Hackers are also interested in data that an organization cannot go without because they know they can exploit the data for ransom or sell it for a higher price. 

In this article, we explore the three industries that have the highest risk for a data breach that could be detrimental to their operations, finances, and reputation.

Industries at Risk

  1. Education

    Hackers look to student data in all parts of the education sector. From district-wide breaches of public school systems to independent and charter schools to universities, nothing is off-limits. Because educational institutions’ tech infrastructures are generally large and complex, hackers take this opportunity to move in on an easy target.

  2. Healthcare

    It isn’t difficult to see why criminals would be drawn to the healthcare industry. Hospitals and clinics hold such valuable information: treatment records, insurance plans, payroll data, and so forth. One widespread attack on healthcare organizations (as well as the other two industries on this list) is the ransomware attack. Because these facilities cannot function without patient data, hackers will implant malware on a computer in its system to lock crucial data. The facilities are then faced with paying a ransom for the potential of getting the information unlocked.

  3. Government

    Government agencies are a gold mine of information, especially for hackers engaged in foreign espionage. The level of data held within government systems makes it a clear target for all types of attacks, including ransomware mentioned above in point two. 

These industries top the charts for data breach statistics. In a 2019 report by Norton, Georgia Tech suffered a breach that compromised the records of 1.3 million of their former students, faculty members, and staff. Likewise, in the healthcare industry, the American Medical Collection Agency had more than 20 million records exposed. Additionally, in government breaches, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suffered a breach that compromised the records of 2.3 million survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as the California wildfires. 

MSPs Can Support Internal IT Departments’ Security Efforts

Managed service providers (MSPs) exist to support. They can work as a standalone, external IT department. However, they can also act as an extension of an organization’s existing internal team. These three industries we mentioned above are all held to regulatory standards when it comes to IT. In spite of that, and regardless of their compliance, they were affected by data breaches. 

These organizations are, no doubt, upholding security and compliance in the best ways they know how. The difficulty they face is largely due to the overwhelming amount of IT responsibilities. After handling day-to-day maintenance, strengthening security, and hustling to meet compliance requirements, teams are sometimes running a race they can’t finish. 

MSPs add support in these areas to take the pressure off of internal teams. Whether it’s security, compliance, or general IT, a provider jumps in to create a long-term strategy, improving the department’s efficiency and security. 

Technology Lab is your full-service partner in IT. We work with you to identify opportunities for improvement and keep your department secure and running smoothly. Contact us to learn how our team of engineers can help you protect your organization.