Cybersecurity: Clusit Report Reveals Alarming Increase in Global Attacks

According to the latest report from Clusit, the Italian Association for Cybersecurity, global cyberattacks have increased by 60% from 2018 to 2022, rising from 130 to 207 incidents on average.

In 2022, cyberattacks grew worldwide by 21%, with a staggering 169% increase in our country compared to the previous year.

Cybercrime, Espionage, and Activism: Major Threats in the Cyber Landscape

Malware Reigns Supreme as the Primary Hacker Tool

Malware represents 53% of all cyberattacks in Italy and has caused significant damage. It remains the most prevalent method employed by hackers.

The growth in attacks can be attributed to a rise in criminal activities aimed at extortion, with cyberwarfare and hacker activism accounting for 7% of incidents.

Espionage, sabotage, information warfare, and activist actions also contribute to the overall threat landscape.

Approximately 80% of attacks have a high or critical impact, affecting various aspects of society, politics, the economy, and geopolitics, both in Italy and globally.

Industries Under Attack: Cybersecurity Breaches by Sector

Government, Healthcare, and Education at High Risk

The primary targets of cyberattacks in Italy have been:

  • Government and public administration
  • Healthcare
  • IT services
  • Education (schools and universities)
  • Media and information sectors

Compared to 2021, there has been a significant increase in attacks on the global manufacturing and insurance sectors, rising by 40% and 79% respectively.

The majority of hacker attacks are the result of user distractions. Therefore, it is crucial for companies to train their staff on key cybersecurity issues and enhance their preparedness to handle emergencies in this field.

Cybersecurity in Italian Businesses: Growing Focus on Protection

Prioritizing Cybersecurity Investments in the Digital Age

In 2023, cybersecurity continues to be the top investment priority for both large companies and SMEs in Italy’s digital landscape.

A significant number of large organizations have increased their budget for cybersecurity activities over the past 12 months.

Overall, the Italian cybersecurity market reached a value of 1.86 billion euros in 2022, representing an 18% acceleration compared to 2021.

“Today, the challenge lies in defining a long-term structured strategy to create a united front against threats. Achieving this goal requires targeted investments aligned with business priorities, specialized personnel with cybersecurity skills, and comprehensive training plans at all levels of the organization. Additionally, a mature cyber risk management approach based on easily understandable financial metrics for the board is essential,” says the Director of the Cybersecurity & Data Protection Observatory.

Italian organizations are strengthening their cybersecurity governance. Half of the companies have a formalized Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) within their IT department. Simultaneously, initiatives to raise awareness about potential cyber impacts of employee activities are underway. Around 80% of organizations have implemented structured training programs involving all employees.

National Cybersecurity Strategy 2022-2026: Safeguarding the Country

Strengthening Regulatory Framework and Preparedness

In response to numerous cyber threats, both domestically and across Europe, significant efforts have been made in 2022 to reinforce the regulatory framework.

One of the most notable initiatives includes the adoption of the National Cybersecurity Strategy 2022-2026 and the operationalization of the National Assessment and Certification Center.

The strategy aims to achieve 82 measures by 2026, with the following objectives:

  • Protect national strategic assets through a risk-based approach and an efficient regulatory framework, ensuring a resilient digital transition for the country.
  • Respond to national cyber threats and crises through monitoring systems, detection, analysis, and security processes.
  • Develop secure digital technologies through tools and initiatives that support research activities, centers of excellence, and industry enterprises.




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