Cyber threats are more common, more dangerous and more destructive than ever before - Tokio Marine HCC International

The launch of Tokio Marine HCC International’s (TMHCCI), second annual Cyber Incidents Report shows that the global threat of cyber-attacks continues to grow, and the nature and targets of those attacks are evolving at a rapid pace. 

In just ten incidents last year, over $600 million in cash was stolen or taken as ransom, tens of millions of citizen records stolen, 40,000 businesses’ IT operations put at risk, one billion airline passenger details compromised and at least one bank was effectively shut down for over a week.

The vast majority of the incidents listed in this year’s top ten involved large institutions where cyber security plays an integral role in operations. But this hasn’t prevented their sophisticated defence systems from coming under attack.

Indeed, some of the most damaging attacks were experienced by the likes of Microsoft, Kaseya and SITA, organisations whose products and services feed directly into the systems of third parties.

Isaac Guasch, Cyber Security Specialist at TMHCCI and author of the report said, “We are noticing a drastic increase in both likelihood and severity of all types of cyber attack. We have seen a marked increase in ransomware attacks, their complexity and in the appetite to target smaller organisations.”

“But whether you are a small independent business or a large, international organisation, the increasingly interconnected nature of the businesses that form our economies, is a key threat.”

“Even if you are confident that your cyber security measures are up to date, those of your partners may not be, so you may need to constantly redefine your perimeter.”

Ranking the top ten global cyber incidents by impact shows that, when it comes to targets of attack, there is no grace or favour provided by criminals; with a range of sectors including IT, airport security, banking, energy, software component providers and government databases all coming under attack.

“It’s clear that organisations of all shapes and sizes need to understand that wherever they are and whatever they are engaged in, their business is at risk.” added Xavier Marguinaud, head of Cyber at TMHCCI.