Samantha Donaldson

@samanthalee1440

Three Industries That Are Affected by Cyber Attacks More Than You’d Think

September 13th 2017

When the average individual thinks of cyberattacks, the first things that come to mind may be the tech giants of our society, the average consumer, and the government. However, with cyberattacks drastically increasing in the last few years alone, the average Trojan or cyberleak of sensitive government data is truly the least of our worries.

In fact, the industries you may have never expected in the past are now the ones possibly being affected the most, and the outcome could not only be chaotic, but potentially catastrophic in the future. Although there are a myriad of different industries being affected each and every day, this article will strive to analyze three industries that are both shocking as well as dangerous and, if tampered with on a large enough scale, could quite literally lead to the death of hundreds in the blink of an eye.

Investment Industry

With any industry that focuses specifically on money and where individuals put said money, you can expect to find people that are hoping to manipulate the system in order to have a piece of the pie for nothing in return. In this case, the investment industry is one that focuses heavily on technology and data in order to determine not only where to invest, but how. The unfortunate fact, however, is that this makes them extremely ideal for the average hacker looking to utilize techniques such as ransomware or data theft.

In fact, after reviewing 75 SEC-registered broker-dealers, investment advisers, and investment companies to assess industry practices and legal, regulatory, and compliance issues associated with cybersecurity preparedness, the OCIE determined that 26 percent of investment management firms did not conduct periodic risk assessments of critical systems to identify cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, and potential business consequences. Furthermore, 57 percent of investment management firms examined did not conduct penetration tests and vulnerability scans on systems that the firms deemed critical. Lastly, 4 percent of investment management firms had a significant number of critical and high-risk security patches that needed to be updated.

Furthermore, according to a research report by Accenture, 61 percent of insurers say that it takes months to detect successful security breaches — meaning that this information could quite literally be out there for months before it is retrieved. So, how do we counteract this astonishing truth? The best way to do this is by reinventing the cybersecurity systems these current investment companies are utilizing and by focusing on the hard data.

The reason why data is so important is due to the fact that it allows you to analyze your pain points as well as follow the market trends. For instance, currently, healthcare and tech drive leasing demand in Nashville by not only increasing rental rates by over 9.3 percent each quarter, but also by creating a thriving tech industry that now holds the largest share of leasing volume by over 24.2 percent in this quarter alone. As an investor in these markets, it is important to recognize this kind of data in order to see what investments may be at risk as well as how the market shifts with each attack it receives and each increase in the tech industry it creates.

However, another major industry that continues to attract employees as well as hackers is the healthcare industry and, in this year alone, we have seen the start of a possible chain of ransomware attacks that will inevitably alter the safety and security of our healthcare system forever.

Healthcare Industry

When you think of a ransom situation, you may automatically think of one of the millions of movie scenes where a whole company is held hostage, cops are surrounding the building, and demands are being made by the criminals. However, this couldn’t be further from what a ransomware attack truly entails.

The average ransomware attack works like this: you will receive receive an email with a link that looks harmless and click it. However, once you have done so, the ransomware infects the computer, removing all of its files, folders, and data and opening one screen which explains what has happened as well as how to pay a certain set price using bitcoins in order to return all of your stolen information. However, if you do not respond within the given amount of time, you will either lose all of your stolen data or incremental amounts until it is completely lost.

In the past, this was primarily an attack that was made to target the average consumer unaware of its implications. However, with more powerful and widespread forms of ransomware becoming quite common in the last few years and ransomware going gold, it is no surprise that this once uncommon form of hacking is now affecting one of the most important aspects of our society: our health.

In fact, according to Scientific American, US Hospitals are simply not immune to crippling cyber threats in any way. According to their studies, roughly 75 percent of all major healthcare providers had experienced malware infections that could cause them to lose data or money. With the recent WannaCry ransomware attack specifically hitting multiple major hospitals in the UK, the rise in ransomware attacks on the healthcare industry is staggering, to say the least. Furthermore, with patient records being primarily in the cloud nowadays, this means that the information being taken could quite possibly be information then sold on the black market or used to alter data and cause multiple deaths.

So, how will the healthcare industry respond to these attacks, you might ask? For starters, many tech companies have been contracted nationwide to provide encryption technology which will secure sensitive patient data in the future. Furthermore, by creating devices that are more secure to begin with, the healthcare technology industry has begun to formulate a safer world from the start, which will ultimately make it impossible for hackers to find an easy entry point.

Automotive Industry

Despite the clear impacts on the investment and healthcare industries, with a rise in self-driving vehicles and various other automotive technologies, it is no surprise that all eyes are currently on the automotive industry and seem to be asking the same question; how will the automotive industry push forward without being forced to take steps backward in response?

The automotive industry has certainly transformed itself in the last few years in many ways. However, one of the biggest transitions to the future that it has made has been set through the creation and testing of various autonomous vehicles. In fact, with self-driving cars already being tested in various states across the country, it is no surprise why many auto mechanics and drivers are currently asking themselves, “where will all the drivers go?

Although this may affect multiple driving job industry markets to some extent, the overall results regarding the self-driving vehicles and their effectiveness have been quite positive indeed. For instance, this transition could greatly reduced the amount of accidents caused by human error and, with recent high-tech car safety features making your cars safer and more automated as a whole, those numbers will only continue to improve each and every year. However, some fear that the autonomy could actually lead to mass chaos as these cars would inevitably be connected to the same network as hundreds, if not thousands, of insecure devices such as cell phones, audio devices, and even refrigerators.

In fact, the industry not only could lead to mass chaos if individuals were able to hack into these cars and control them remotely, but could lead to what some are considering remote terrorist attacks. For instance, a hacker could easily hack into a nearby vehicle and force it to drive into a sea of pedestrians in the blink of an eye. Although not much of this has been seen thus far, tech experts and cybersecurity specialists have chosen to tackle these concerns before they ever become an issue.

Although this will inevitably slow the process of making autonomous vehicles accessible to the public, it could also save thousands of lives, making it an effective and responsible thing to do. In the end, there will always be hackers, there will always be a dark web, and there will always be industries and experts that these hackers will face. However, it takes technological advancement, industry growth, and societal awareness in order to grab these criminals by the proverbial horns and put their schemes to rest. After all, business is business, but knowing your business is genius.

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