This year has proven to be a challenging one for cybersecurity professionals worldwide. We have seen the blurring of the major cyber threat actors—nation-state cyberattack groups from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea—with criminal cyberattack groups from their respective countries and other nations worldwide. As a result, there has been a 350 percent increase in ransomware attacks globally, a 70 percent increase in the number of spear-phishing email attacks and the unprecedented growth of Business Email Compromises (BEC), also known as spoofing campaigns. The cyberattack groups are continually modifying their attack vectors, methods and tactics to: (1) optimize theft of money, cryptocurrencies and intellectual property; (2) disrupt national economies, social media platforms and political campaigns; and (3) destroy valuable data assets on a global basis.
At BDO, we have significantly grown our Cybersecurity and Information Technology advisory resources and managed security services capabilities during 2018 to offer more valuable services to our clients worldwide. Today, we have a team of more than 2,500 cybersecurity and IT professionals in 31 countries on six continents, and they are all here to serve the needs of the public and private sectors in protecting their information assets.
During 2018, our BDO global cybersecurity threat intelligence team has developed and published quarterly cyber threat insight reports to inform and educate our partners and clients internationally about the evolving cyber threat landscape. In the first quarter of 2018, we focused on significant cyberattacks and cyber events globally. In the second quarter of 2018, we created a Cyber Threat Insights Report with a special focus on the global healthcare industry. In the third quarter of 2018, our Cyber Threat Insights Report focused on the global banking and financial services industry.
In this issue for the fourth quarter of 2018, we discuss major cyberattacks on the global public sector. Plus, we delve deeper into the national cybersecurity strategic plans of four countries: Australia, Germany, Israel and the United States, written by our BDO Cybersecurity team leaders in each respective country.
At BDO we have developed an approach to preparing for potential cyberattacks, which we call Threat-based Cybersecurity. Put simply, we believe each client is unique and should have a comprehensive understanding of the actual cyber threats facing their respective organization. Thus, we prefer to start each client engagement with a set of advanced cyber diagnostic assessments. And then, based on the findings of our advanced diagnostic assessments, we develop a customized cyber defense plan to address each client’s specific cyber needs, timeline and budget.
As a result of the tremendously positive feedback we have received from our partners and clients about the quarterly 2018 BDO Cyber Threat Insights Reports, we’re happy to announce that we plan to continue the series through 2019 and beyond.
All the best!