Cyber attacks more than doubled in 2023, according to analysis from cyber security firm Armis, as it is claimed many businesses around the world continue to fail to acknowledge the increasing threat to cyber security.

The Armis report that attack attempts were at their peak in July, with imaging, manufacturing and communications devices targeted the most. Attacks on utilities tripled and attacks on manufacturing increased by 165%.

But businesses continue to ignore the growing threat and aren’t taking cyber security seriously, it is believed, with the report suggesting that companies are regularly ignoring blind spots, which is causing a surge in cyber breaches.

Co-founder and CTO of Armis, Nadir Izrael, said: “Armis found that not only are attack attempts increasing, but cyber security blind spots and critical vulnerabilities are worsening, painting prime targets for malicious actors.

“It’s critical that security teams leverage similar intelligence defensively so that they know where to prioritize efforts and fill these gaps to mitigate risk.”

The report goes on to suggest legacy technology is most at risk, with pre-2012 Windows OS versions found to be 77% more likely to experience cyber attacks than newer versions. Moreover, older server versions are reaching end-of-support, leaving them even more vulnerable to attack. This is mostly an issue in the educational services sector, with 18% of organizations facing this very issue.

Businesses in the education industry are 41% more vulnerable compared to other industries, which have a general average of 10%. Other vulnerable industries, due to outdated OS servers are retail, healthcare, manufacturing and public administration.

The report says more than 65,000 common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) were discovered, pointing to wearable devices as having the highest percentage (93%) of unpatched CVEs.

What is a cyber attack?

A cyber attack can be defined as a malicious attempt to gain access to a computer, operating system or network without authorization, with the sole purpose of causing damage and/or stealing confidential information.

These attacks look to disrupt, destroy or control said computer systems and may also intend to steal, block or manipulate the data stored on these systems.

How to prevent a cyber attack?

Typically, installing up-to-date antivirus software protects your computer and network against malware, while firewalls are there to filter traffic that might enter your device.

Other ways people and businesses can protect themselves from cyber security threats include multi-factor authentication, ensuring passwords are strong, password encryption and using robust Virtual Private Networks (VPN).

The most simple way of staying on top of your cyber security is ensuring all of your apps, devices, operating systems and devices are running the most up-to-date versions to ensure security patches are prepared for any new cyber attacks.

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James Jones

Freelance Journalist

James Jones is a highly experienced journalist, podcaster and digital publishing specialist, who has been creating content in a variety of forms for online publications in the sports and tech industry for over 10 years. He has worked at some of the leading online publishers in the country, most recently as the Content Lead for Snack Media's expansive of portfolio of websites, including Football, and James has also appeared on several national and global media outlets, including BBC News, talkSPORT, LBC Radio, 5 Live Radio, TNT Sports, GB News and BBC’s Match of the Day 2. James has a degree in Journalism and previously held the position of Editor-in-Chief at Now, he co-hosts the popular We Are West Ham Podcast, writes a weekly column for BBC Sport and covers the latest news in the industry for