Is your industry at risk of a cyberattack?

Leaders are taking steps to fight off the growing threat of cyberattacks.

Leaders are taking steps to fight off the growing threat of cyberattacks. Image: Unsplash/Markus Spiske

Simon Torkington
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Cybersecurity?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Cybersecurity is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Tech and Innovation

Listen to the article

  • The education and research sector is the most frequent target of cyberattacks.
  • The sector suffered an average of 2,507 attacks per week in Q1 2023, a new study says.
  • Other targeted sectors include healthcare, the military, banking and retail.
  • A cybersecurity skills gap is leaving organizations vulnerable to attacks, finds a World Economic Forum report.

Advances in technology including artificial intelligence are giving cybercriminals new ways to mount attacks.

While no industry is safe, new research has revealed which sectors are under the greatest threat. Analysts at found that education and research organizations faced the highest number of cyberattacks in Q1, 2023. The data shows the sector faced “an average of 2,507 attacks per organization per week, marking a 15% increase compared to Q1 2022”.

Graph showing the weekly cyber attacks, per industry.
Education and research are the industries at most risk from cyberattacks. Image: Checkpoint

Checkpoint’s study suggests many educational institutions are still struggling to secure their systems following the switch to remote learning during the pandemic.

The data shows that the government/military sector is also being heavily targeted by cybercriminals, with attacks spiking at 1,725 in the first quarter of 2023. That’s an increase of 3% on the previous year. Healthcare, communication and banking are also frequent targets for cyberattacks.


How is the Forum tackling global cybersecurity challenges?

The cybercrime risk landscape

Advanced technology is just one factor behind the growing risk of cybercrime. The World Economic Forum’s Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023 lists geopolitical instability and a lack of talent to fill vacant security jobs as major drivers of online crime.

The Forum’s research suggests business leaders are alive to the cyber-threats related to geopolitical risks, but IT security leaders in business frequently struggle to fully articulate the scale of the threat. Despite that, the report finds a willingness to make changes to mitigate the biggest risks.

Leaders are taking steps to fight off the growing threat of cyberattacks.
Leaders are taking steps to fight off the growing threat of cyberattacks. Image: Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023

More than 70% of business leaders and cyber leaders recognize the need to tighten up policies around third-party access to data. There’s also broad agreement on re-evaluating which countries to do business with. Alignment between the two sets of leaders falls when it comes to engaging with wider industry to confront the danger of cybercrime.

The report urges leaders “to think more deeply about cybersecurity and listen more intently to cyber experts, and to each other, in order to ensure our shared resilience”.

Have you read?
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Global IT outage: The cyber resilience alarm heard around the world

William H. Dutton and Luna Rohland

July 24, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Sign in
  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum