Not all major cyber attacks are undertaken in a bid to profit off stolen personal information, a new report has warned.
Trend Micro and the Organization of American States (OAS) published a joint study last week (April 7th) in which they drew attention to a new breed of cyber attack on the rise among critical infrastructure suppliers in both North and South America.
According to the researchers, some 44 per cent of government agencies, telecoms and energy companies, and manufacturing and financial services firms have experienced attacks in which the hackers attempted to destroy rather than steal their data.
An additional 40 per cent had been at the receiving end of malicious efforts to shut down their systems, further increasing the risk of service disruption and data loss.
According to Computer Weekly, this type of attack is often overlooked because critical infrastructure suppliers are under no obligation to disclose their data breaches, whereas organisations that handle personal information are legally required to notify the affected in most jurisdictions.
Commenting on the research, Trend Micro’s chief cyber security officer Tom Kellermann said the figures should act as a wake-up call that critical infrastructure has become “a prime target for cybercriminals” and that suppliers must tighten their defences and response plans accordingly.
“It is our hope that these findings will serve as a catalyst to motivate and encourage necessary change,” he explained.
Neil Klopfenstein, executive secretary of the OAS Inter-American Committee against Terrorism, added: “This report reinforces a need to continue strengthening protection of critical infrastructures in our member states, while collaborating and sharing information so as to collectively address these issues and foster a secure and resilient cyber space for government, businesses and citizens in the region.”
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