Sectors Vulnerable to Cyberattacks in 2020

Sectors Vulnerable to Cyberattacks in 2020

The modern era is one characterised by a degree of computerisation which, just a few decades ago, would have seemed completely ridiculous. It’s prompted businesses to worry about an entirely new category of threat. Nowadays, a would-be thief doesn’t need to walk into your premises to steal sensitive data; they can do so through a length of cable. The novel coronavirus pandemic has only starkened this vulnerability; just as businesses across the country have made a pivot to online, so too have organised criminals.

Sectors at risk should look to invest in specialised cyber insurance. However stringent your measures, there’s no such thing as 100% protection against attacks of this sort, but through insurance you’ll be able to remove the possibility of complete disaster. Certain sectors have more to worry about when it comes to cyberattacks. Let’s take a look at them.


The energy sector is vulnerable to an increasingly popular style of attack known as ransomware. Here, the attacker gains control of a vital system, and doesn’t give it back until a ransom is paid. In the world of energy, this kind of attack can cause an enormously damaging outage. Only a small proportion of firms end up paying the ransom, but this is enough to make this form of attack enormously profitable for the attackers. A lack of backups and poor disaster planning combine to 


An enormous proportion of the global economy depends on maritime transportation. But this is a sector that’s especially vulnerable to attack, thanks disparities in cybersecurity between the various territories and organisations that make international shipping happen. Attackers can obtain detailed information about a given ship, and pass the data to pirates and hostile nation states. Information of this kind is incredibly valuable, and thus there’s an enormous push factor driving crime of this kind.


Healthcare is also vulnerable to ransomware attacks, as demonstrated by the infamous WannaCry cyberattack that cost the NHS £92 million, according to a report from the Department of Health. In Germany, a patient recently died because of a ransomware attack – but this is a rare example of a direct harm being caused. In most cases, the consequences of an attack of this kind are more diffuse and difficult to trace back to the attack. 

How Can I Protect My Organisation?

If your organisation is part of one of these vulnerable categories, then you might wonder what can be done to protect it. 

First, you might keep track of the devices you’re allowing on site. Even a site that isn’t connected to the internet can be targeted, as software needs to be updated, and a USB stick can be used to carry malware unwittingly.

Training your staff will better prepare them to deal with common threats, like phishing attacks. What seems like an obvious deception to some people might be enough to persuade others; training will help to protect everyone, and by extension the organisation as a whole.