global security (welcomia/

Cyberattacks on governments double

Cyberattacks on governments, as a proportion of total attacks, doubled from 7 percent in 2015 to 14 percent in 2016, pulling the government sector into a first-place tie with finance, according to Dimension Data’s Global Threat Intelligence Report 2017.

Cybercriminals are often looking for a way to make a buck, so attacks on financial institutions make sense, the report said. But because governments hold sensitive personal information, budgetary data and national security information, they have been increasingly targeted, according to Matthew Gyde, Dimension Data’s Group security executive.

“Governments all over the world are constantly under the threat of sophisticated attacks launched by rival nation-states, terrorist groups, hacktivists and cybercriminals,” Gyde said. “What’s interesting is that this year we saw numerous incidents involving insider threats.”

Government agencies were increasingly hit with ransomware attacks, coming in at 19 percent of attacks. (Business and professional services sustained 28 percent of all ransomware attacks.) Phishing and social engineering schemes, which delivered 73 percent of malware, were less likely to target governments, going after the manufacturing industry primarily.

On the positive side, Dimension Data also compiled vulnerability data and concluded that the government sector is less vulnerable than the technology, business and professional services, retail and finance sectors.

Dimension Data used 3.5 trillion security logs from 10,000 worldwide clients, data on 6.2 billion attempted attacks, global honeypots and sandboxes located in over 100 different countries for its study.

Read the full report here.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

Click here for previous articles by Leonard.

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