Cyber attacks on organizations continue to increase

In 2022, 27 percent more cyber attacks were carried out on organizations across Germany than in the previous year. The Security Report 2022 by the cybersecurity specialist Check Point provides facts and background information, we supplement preventive measures.


The Security Report 2022 by the Swiss cybersecurity specialist Check Point shows that cyber attacks on organizations have increased sharply again in the past year. Germany-wide by 27 percent compared to the previous year, worldwide even by 38 percent. Switzerland was particularly hard hit with an increase of 61 percent.

In Germany, cybercriminals mostly targeted retail/wholesale companies (+89 percent), public administration (+80 percent) and educational institutions (+60 percent). Globally, according to the Check Point study, the education and research sector was the most frequently attacked industry – with an increase of 43 percent compared to 2021 and an average of 2314 attacks per organization per week.

The experts warn that the maturity of AI technologies like ChatGPT could further increase the number of cyberattacks in 2023.


Reasons for the increase

Omer Dembinsky, Data Group Manager at Check Point, commented on the background to the enormous global increase in cyber attacks: “ Globally, in 2022 there were 38 percent more cyber attacks per week on corporate networks than in 2021. Several trends in cyber threats occur simultaneously and are responsible for this development. For one, the ransomware ecosystem is evolving and growing with smaller, more agile criminal groups. Second, they’re expanding their targets to target collaboration tools like Slack, Teams, OneDrive, and Google Drive with phishing exploits. This is a rich source of sensitive data as most company employees still work remotely. Third, after the rapid digitization they have undertaken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, academic institutions have become a favorite playground for cybercriminals. In fact, education/research was the most attacked sector globally, seeing a 43 percent increase in 2022 compared to 2021, averaging 2,314 attacks per organization per week. Many educational institutions were ill-prepared for the unexpected shift to online learning, giving hackers ample opportunity to penetrate networks by any means necessary. Schools and universities also face the particular challenge that children and young adults use their own devices, work in shared locations, and often connect these devices to public Wi-Fi networks without considering the security implications.


Prevention measures

Here are some best practices and steps a company can take to help mitigate its vulnerability to the next attack or security breach:

  • Regular training courses on cyber security so that all employees internalize and heed the following basic rules:
    • Do not click unknown (and potentially malicious) links
    • Do not open unexpected or untrusted mail attachments
    • Do not connect unknown USB devices to the computer
    • Do not give out any personal or sensitive information
    • Check software for legitimacy before download
    • Only use VPN when connecting over untrusted or public Wi-Fi
  • Always keep computers, servers and software up to date – especially security patches classified as critical should be carried out as soon as possible; an internal patch management strategy is advisable
  • Invest in technology that can prevent at least a majority of potential attacks to continue normal business operations

Source: Check Point Software’s 2022 Security Report