Cyberattacks in 2023 primarily targeted fintech and e-commerce sectors

According to the report, the FinTech sector bore the brunt of the attacks, accounting for a staggering 36.88% of all incidents recorded globally throughout 2023

Qrator Labs, an authority in Continuous Network Availability, has released comprehensive data shedding light on the cyber landscape of 2023. The past year witnessed an unprecedented surge in both the frequency and intensity of cyber assaults, signifying a significant escalation in online threats.

According to the report, the FinTech sector emerged as the primary target, bearing the brunt of cyber attacks and accounting for a staggering 36.88% of all incidents recorded globally throughout 2023. Following closely behind, the E-commerce segment faced a considerable onslaught, comprising 24.95% of the total cyberattacks.

The top five targeted sectors also include EdTech, encountering 9.86% of the attacks, while Online Gaming and IT & Telecom sectors suffered 7.34% and 6.01%, respectively. Victor Zyamzin, Global Head of Business Development at Qrator Labs, notes, “These findings underscore the critical need for enhanced cybersecurity measures across various industries, as malicious actors continue to exploit vulnerabilities in digital infrastructure with alarming frequency.”

At the microsegment level, the banking sector emerged as the primary target of attackers, comprising 28.31% of all attacks. Traditionally, these attacks surged during periods of active promotion of seasonal banking products such as loans and deposits. The top 5 also includes electronic bulletin boards at 15.04%, educational platforms at 9.57%, online stores at 8%, and payment systems at 7.05%.

The report highlights the duration of attacks, showcasing the longest assault targeting airports, spanning three days during the third quarter. Following closely was an attack on banks, persisting for 42 hours. The third longest attack occurred in the e-commerce segment, specifically targeting online stores in the fourth quarter and lasting nearly 30 hours. These incidents mark the most prolonged assaults of 2023 categorized by sector.

Qrator Labs findings suggest that these attacks are commercially ordered. This type of attack regained popularity last year due to the expansion of communication channels and the rise of new protocols making remote office work more efficient. Victor Zyamzin adds, “These factors made it easier and cheaper to organize network attacks. Interestingly, attackers are now using local traffic sources more often to bypass geo-blocking and get closer to their victims’ regions.”

The report also sheds light on the geographic source of attacks. While the data for the entire year is yet to be analyzed, the findings for the fourth quarter indicate the top three sources as the United States and China, with 6.23 (11.76%) and 2.65 (5%) million blockages, respectively.

The list also includes Singapore (1.49 million), Germany (1.44 million), Indonesia (1.17 million), Brazil (1.14 million), and India (1.08 million). Noteworthy changes from the third quarter include France dropping out of the top 10 in the fourth quarter, with the number of blocked addresses decreasing from 822 thousand to 679 thousand. France was replaced by Italy (819 thousand). Additionally, several newcomers joined the list, including the Netherlands, Vietnam, Great Britain, and Mexico, with 709 thousand, 702 thousand, 586 thousand, and 501 thousand blocked IPs, respectively.

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