Cyber-attacks on Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) are increasing at a rapid pace. Fuel pipelines, power stations, railways and other CNI targets are a lucrative goal for cyber criminals all over the globe. Some 65% of CNI organisations were hit by a cyberattack in the past year – a damning insight unearthed by Forcepoint’s ‘Panic Stations’ research, launched yesterday (download your free report here).

Forcepoint spoke to 500 US and UK CNI cybersecurity professionals to explore the impact of cyber threats on the national infrastructure of the two countries, revealing some alarming statistics in the process.

For instance, some sectors are being hit worse than others. The rate of attack increases to three-quarters of organizations operating in the communications (75%), energy (74%) and banking (74%) sectors, as well as central government (75%).

CNI is clearly a major prize for attackers: with ransomware worrying cybersecurity professionals the most.

The quoted research found more than half (57%) of CNI organizations across both countries fell foul to a ransomware attack in the past year, with 72% of victims admitting to paying the ransom.

And the biggest threat actors against CNI?

  • Cyber gangs from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea
  • Nation states making acts of political retaliation – using cyberattacks as a political tool
  • Acts of ‘hacktivism’ – with motivations aligning with more traditional activism, such as the anti-nuclear movement, or as part of wider cyber trends
  • Acts of cyber warfare – such as those committed by Russia on Ukraine

But there is hope. To understand this complex threat landscape for National Critical Infrastructure, download the Panic Stations report.



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