The prevalence and severity of cyber attacks are increasing at an alarming rate every year. So much so, that statistics from Cybersecurity Ventures estimate that cybercrime will cost the global economy a colossal $6 trillion per year by 2021.

Specops Software analysed the latest data from Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) to discover which countries across the world have experienced the most cyberattacks classified as significant between May 2006 – June 2020.

Significant cyber attacks are defined as cyber-attacks 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 cyberattacks categorised as significant (156) between May 2006 – June 2020. The equivalent of 11 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. The UK has seen 47 cyber attacks categorised as significant since May 2006 to June 2020. One of the 47 incidents was the large-scale cyberattack deployed across the Labour Party’s digital platforms during the 2019 general election.

Falling prey to 23 significant cyber-attacks, rising powerhouse India ranks in third place. Meanwhile, Germany is in fourth spot, having faced 21 substantial cyber attacks during May 2006 – June 2020.

Australia is in sixth place with 16 momentous cyber-attacks recorded. The most recent compromise was announced last month (June 2020) by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said Australia’s government agencies and essential businesses/services were being targeted by large-scale sophisticated cyber attacks.

Interestingly, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia have each experienced the same number (15) of significant cyber attacks between May 2006 and June 2020.

On the other end, North Korea has only been hit by five significant cyber attacks. Faring much better than neighboring South Korea, who have suffered from 18 major cyber attacks.

“No one can rest on their laurels when it comes to cybersecurity. This research highlights the frequency of cyber-attacks that have devastatingly affected key political, social and economic institutions within different countries,” said Darren James, a Cyber Security Expert from Specops Software.

“Whilst some countries have had to deal with more cyberattacks 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 cybercriminals.”

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