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Common Cyberattack Targets: Top 17 Devastating Cybercrime Examples

by | Mar 13, 2023 | Dystopia

The internet has become an essential aspect of human activities. Modern society is heavily dependent on Information and communications technology (ICT) tools to function. And the technologies of the modern age have made life easier and more connected across the globe.

With the exponential increase of connected technologies and digital platforms, the world has become a giant interconnected web. Today more than 60% of the world’s population is connected to the Internet by means like computers, smartphones, IoT, tablets, and many more.

These gadgets are used for storing personal information, online banking, online shopping, booking tickets, remote working, communicating, finding love, staying informed, and connecting with friends over social media. Almost everything can be done over the web.

The internet has created an online world. And just like there are criminals in the physical world, in the cyber world there are cybercriminals. The digital world brings both opportunities and threats for companies, governments, and individuals alike.

Cybercriminals are upping their game to find new ways for compromising computer systems. In 2021 alone, an alarming number of cyberattacks were reported by corporations around the world.

In 2021, it is estimated that 90,000 Americans lost USD 1.58 billion to investment scams, and more than 700 million ransomware attacks were launched. During the same year, cybercrime cost USD 6 trillion to the global economy.

Based on trends from the last decade and the exponential growth of the digital world, we can foresee an increase in cybercrimes in 2023 and beyond. Hence, what is cyber crime?

What is cybercrime?

Cybercrime, also called computer-related crime, is any criminal activity that involves a computer or other electronic device. It can be defined as “the illegal usage of any communication device to commit or facilitate in committing any illegal act”.

Cybercriminals use technology to commit fraud, identity theft, and other malicious activities. They can use malware, phishing attacks, ransomware, and other malicious tactics to steal money or sensitive information from victims.

There are many different types of cybercrime. It is no longer simply about hacking computers and stealing data, but has evolved into a multifaceted threat that can target a country as a whole. These threats include things like:

  • Cyberterrorism
  • Cyberwarfare
  • Cyberextortion
  • Cyberbullying
  • Cyberstalking
  • Cyberespionage
  • Online scams
  • Identity theft

Cybercrime can be as difficult to define as it is to combat and new ones are being developed regularly. While there are many different types, they are all serious offenses that can have devastating consequences for the victims.

Increase in cybercrime

The digital world is increasingly being framed as something inherently dangerous which requires more scrutiny and control. It is becoming a threat to both human rights and the security of the digital environment.

Cybercrime has been on the rise in recent years and is now one of the most serious threats to our digital security. It has become increasingly easy for criminals to access personal data and financial information, making it difficult to protect against cyber attacks.

As technology advances, so do the methods used by cybercriminals to target unsuspecting individuals and organizations. With the increasing sophistication of cybercrimes, it is becoming more difficult to protect ourselves from these attacks.

There has been a dramatic rise in cyberattacks in recent years. In 2021, there were more than 2.8 million cybercrime incidents where consumers lost USD 5.8 billion to fraud, a 70% increase from the year before.

And this increase is not slowing down. In fact, according to a report, damage from ransomware attacks could grow from USD 20 billion in 2020 to reach USD 30 billion in 2023. The same attack cost USD 7.5 billion in 2019. Hence this show where cybercrime is going.

In case you’re wondering, ransomware is when hackers block access to a computer unit and demand payment for the key needed to recover it. There are several key factors contributing to this rise in ransomware attacks.

One key factor is the growth of organized cybercrime. Groups of cybercriminals are working together to commit cybercrime offenses. They use sophisticated techniques and tools to attack their victims.

Moreover with the widespread use of digital technology and connectivity, conducting an attack or wreaking havoc is becoming easier. And with people’s willingness to share their private information online, cyberattacks are easier and more affordable to conduct than ever before.

Furthermore, cybercriminals can damage or even destroy businesses and individual identities from a long distance thus shielding them from getting caught. They can even sow chaos and instability in the global economy from the other side of the world.

It is estimated that cybercrime cost the global economy USD 600 billion annually. As technology continues to evolve, so do the tactics used by hackers to gain access to sensitive data. It is also estimated that ransomware attacks cost USD 22,184 per minute and phishing cost USD 17,700 per minute.

A phishing attack is designed to trick you into giving up sensitive information such as passwords or credit card numbers. Another common cyberattack is denial-of-service (DoS) which overwhelms a website with traffic until it crashes and goes offline.

Cybersecurity experts have warned that the next major cyberattack is just around the corner. It is estimated that over the next five years, 146 billion records will be breached. A data breach is when hackers gain access to sensitive information.

Data breaches are becoming increasingly common, especially in today’s age of big data.  For instance, in 2022, 487 million WhatsApp users’ mobile numbers were put for sale on a hacking forum. And the largest breach of all time leaked online was 3.2 billion records containing emails and passwords.

These attacks occur when cybercriminals send emails with links or attachments that contain malware or other malicious programs that can infect a computer unit when opened. Malware is any software used for malicious purposes such as stealing personal information or disrupting computer operations.

There are many forms of malware including viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. It can be downloaded from websites through links with hidden code or embedded in attachments sent via email by hackers who want to steal personal information, identity, or financial information.

Identity theft occurs when someone steals your identity through phishing scams or other methods so they can impersonate you online. This person may then use your personal information for financial gain or cause disruptions online without your knowledge.

Hackers can also use phishing messages over social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. For instance, in the United Kingdom, victims lost over £63 million to investment fraud scams on social media in 2021.

In addition to financial loss, there are many other costs associated with cyberattacks such as loss of productivity due to downtime, lost customers who don’t trust your brand anymore, and reputational damage that can take years (or even decades) to repair.

It is estimated that 71% of ransomware attacks target small businesses. Cyberattacks also pose a threat to national security because they can potentially disrupt critical infrastructure such as power grids, water supplies, and transportation systems. Here are the most famous cybercrime examples.

Examples of cybercrime

Cybercrime is a growing problem in our digital age, with criminals using technology to commit crimes such as identity theft, fraud, data theft, and more. It can be difficult to keep up with the latest cybercrime trends.

Cyberattack is a growing threat to businesses and individuals alike. It can take many forms, from phishing and ransomware attacks to data theft and malicious software. Here we’ll look at some of the well-known examples of cybercrime and their impact.

Colonial Pipeline (2021)

On May 7, 2021, hackers infiltrated the computer system that controls the largest petroleum pipeline in America. The Colonial Pipeline Company was hacked with a ransomware attack that disabled its computerized system.

The most shocking thing about this cyber attack was that it reportedly took just one compromised password to shut down operations for several days. Colonial pipeline transport nearly half of the east coast’s gasoline reported that it had fallen prey to a cyber security attack involving ransomware.

To restore its computerized system used to manage oil pipelines throughout the southeastern of the country, the company needed to pay a ransom. Due to the seriousness of the potential impact of a prolonged disruption, Colonial Pipeline paid the ransom of 75 bitcoins (equivalent to $4.4 million at the time). This cyberattack was the largest in U.S. history targeting oil infrastructure.

NASA (1999)

In 1999, a cyber attack shut down NASA computers for 21 days. The hacker was 15-year-old Jonathan James, who first penetrated the U.S. Department of Defense’s computers and installed a back door on its servers.

This allowed him to intercept more than 1,000 government emails including those containing usernames and passwords. This allowed James to steal a piece of NASA software and crack the computer that supported the International Space Station (ISS). The attack cost NASA 41,000 dollars and its systems were shut down for three weeks.

Ukraine power grid (2015)

On December 23, 2015, several parts of Ukraine experienced an unusual power outage. It was the result of a cyber attack on three energy distribution companies in Ukraine. The hackers used malware to take control of their computers.

This cybercrime is notable for being the first successful attack on a power grid. The attack attributed to the Russian cyber military unit sand worm began when the control center fell victim to a cyber breach and became inoperable.

It is said that hackers sent out phishing emails to power companies with malicious code attached in an attempt to gain access to the computer system. They then infiltrated further substations, ultimately resulting in about 230 000 people being left in the dark for about one to six hours.

The Ukrainian power grid attack gave the world an early taste of Russia’s capacity to engage in far-reaching cyber warfare as part of its ongoing effort to destabilize its neighbor.

Solarwind (2020)

The sunburst attack is another cybercrime example. It was an unprecedented attack on SolarWinds, a major software company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that sent shockwaves through the United States.

The attack entailed a supply chain breach involving SolarWinds Orion software, which was used by many multinational companies and government agencies.

By sneaking malware code known as sunburst onto a routine software update, hackers thought to be directed by a Russian espionage operation gained unfettered access to thousands of organizations including the U.S. government for up to 14 months.

TJX (2006)

Another example of cybercrime happen in December 2006. TJX the U.S. retailer company discovered a data breach involving 45.7 million credit and debit card details from one of its systems over 18 months by an unknown number of intruders.

It was one of the first large-scale cyber attacks involving the theft of personal data. As a result banks in the affected regions had to reissue and block thousands of payment cards. Investigators believed that the TJX data breach had originated in Miami.

A group of hackers including Albert Gonzalez believed to be from Miami hack the TJX websites. Reports suggested that weak web encryption at two Marshall stores in Miami was at fault for this breach.

Equifax (2017)

The Equifax data breach of 2017 was one of the most devastating cyberattacks in recent history. It affected over 143 million customers in the US, UK, and Canada, exposing their personal information including Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and more.

The attack was enabled by a vulnerability in Equifax’s web application that allowed hackers to access the company’s databases. This incident highlighted the importance of cyber security and the need for organizations to take proactive steps to protect their data from malicious actors.

Stuxnet (2010)

The year 2010 witnessed the discovery of the deadly computer worm Stuxnet. Stuxnet is the name of a computer malware that targets supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA). This malware’s motive was unlike any other usual cyberattack, it aimed at destroying equipment controlled by computers.

Stuxnet came with the deadly purpose of damaging Iran’s nuclear infrastructure by damaging its SCADA systems, which controlled many industrial sites and power plants in the country. It spread via Microsoft Windows and targeted different industrial control systems.

Stuxnet eventually infected more than 200 000 computers including 14 industrial sites and a uranium enrichment plant in Iran. The malware’s functionality was to search for machines that were working as PLCs (programmable logic controllers) and if it found one, it updated its code over the Internet through its attackers.

Stuxnet damaged its centrifuges used to enrich uranium for nuclear power generation; this caused an immediate halt to all activity at the Iranian nuclear reactor in Bushehr. It was one of the first discovered malware that was capable of hampering hardware systems.

Home Depot (2014)

Home Depot’s cyberattack of 2014 is another cybercrime example. The home improvement retailer was the victim of a devastating attack where 56 million payment cards were compromised along with 53 million customer email addresses stolen. This security breach occurred from April to September 2014.

The breach was believed to have been caused by hackers who had obtained access to the retailer through a third-party vendor’s username and password. The attackers then used custom-built malware on its self-checkout systems in the United States and Canada. Home Depot agrees to pay USD 17.5 million in settlement over the data breach.

Sony pictures (2014)

In late November 2014, a data breach from the film studio of Sony Pictures was leaked to the Guardians of Peace hacking group. The hackers had demanded that Sony withdraw its then-upcoming movie “The Interview”, which was a comedy storyline to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Sony decided to cancel its theatrical release due to threats at the cinema screening the movie.

Estonia (2007)

Estonia, a European country, faced a series of cyberattacks in April 2007. This happened when the Estonian government decided to move the bronze soldier from its position as the talon’s central focal point to a less prominent military cemetery located on the city’s outskirts.

Unprecedented levels of internet traffic took down Estonian banks, online services, media outlets broadcasters, and government bodies. Researchers believe that this was due to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks perpetrated by botnets sending massive waves of spam and vast amounts of automated online requests.

Although there is no confirmation from either researchers or officials about this extensive cyberattack, Russia is believed to have been behind these crimes that largely crippled Estonia’s society.

Sony PlayStation (2011)

In April 2011, Sony decided to turn off the PlayStation Network after discovering that approximately 77 million user accounts had been compromised. The outage lasted for 23 days and affected users of PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable consoles.

Sony spent approximately USD 171 million for the security improvements of its network, to investigate the attack and cover the expenses of caring for its customers that had been affected by the breach.

Wannacry attack (2017)

In May 2017, a dangerous cyberattack known as the WannaCry ransomware attack occurred. It is a crypto worm and the victims were those who used unsupported versions of Microsoft Windows and those who had not installed the latest security update.

This attack did not take place through conventional attacks but through an exposed vulnerability in the SMB port. The cyber attack originated in Asia and then spread across the globe, infecting more than 200,000 computers across 150 countries within a day.

The Wannacry crypto worm exploited a particular function that locks users out of their own computers and encrypts their data. They demanded 300 to 600 euros per computer in exchange for unlocking the machines.

The attack took a toll on both private and government organizations resulting in damages from hundreds of millions to billions of dollars in a matter of few days. The emergency patches released by Microsoft halted the attack and eventually, a kill switch was discovered to prevent the virus from spreading.

NotPetya (2017)

In 2017, a malware strike focused on Ukraine inflicted enormous collateral damage around the globe. It is estimated that organizations collectively lost USD 10 billion because of the attack. NotPetya, the name given to the malware proved to be more significant and virulent than WannaCry ransomware. It utilized a Windows Server Message Block (SMB) exploit to spread more rapidly.

Florida water (2021)

Another example of cybercrime is the Florida water utility hack, which occurred in 2021. This attack was a troubling reminder as it demonstrated that outdated technology can provide hackers with an easy way onto a computer network.

The breach began when an old PC running Windows 7 with no firewall enabled a hacker to gain access and increase the amount of sodium hydroxide in the water by a factor of 100. The breach could have been catastrophic had it not been caught in time.

Marriott Hotels (2018)

In November 2018, Marriott International suffered a massive data breach affecting more than 500 million hotel guests. The compromise happened for the guest reservation database by an unknown party. Information leaked included payment information, passport and phone number, and mailing addresses of customers.

Marriott group has initiated incident investigations with a group of security experts plus setting up a website and call center. They also sent emails to affected customers and gave them free access to monitoring tools that monitor the internet and give an alert if any evidence of sharing personal information is found.

Twitter (2020)

In July 2020, a group of three attackers breached Twitter by means of social engineering attacks. The attackers used stolen employee credentials to gain access to Twitter’s internal management systems and were later identified by the company as vishing (phone phishing).

Around 130 high-profile Twitter accounts were hacked, including Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk. The attackers used these accounts to post bitcoin scams and earned more than $100,000. Two weeks after the events, the US Justice Department charged three suspects–one of whom was 17 years old at the time.

Other major cyberattacks

  • In 2000, a Denial of Service cyberassault crippled major sites including Amazon, eBay, Buy.com, and CNN.
  • In 2020, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was the target of a 2.3 Tbps (terabits per second) DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service). The company mitigated the attack and experienced a packet forwarding rate of 293.1 Mpps and a request rate per second (rps) of 694,201. It is considered one of the largest DDoS attacks in history.
  • In 2016, a cyberattack on FriendFinder, an adult dating website, resulted in the compromise of data belonging to 412 million users.
  • In 2021, a cyber attack against Microsoft Exchange servers was carried out using four separate zero-day vulnerabilities in enterprise email servers.
  • In 2018, Under Armor’s MyFitnessPal brand announced a breach of email addresses and login information of 150 million user accounts.

Common cyberattack target

Cybercriminals mostly target vulnerable systems and networks that have not been secured properly or have weak security measures in place. This includes outdated software, unpatched systems, unprotected data storage, and insecure networks.

Additionally, criminals may also target entities that contain sensitive information, are easy to extort money, or have accounts with weak passwords. The top 6 most targeted industries of 2021 were as follows:

  • Finance
  • Healthcare
  • Professional
  • Public administration
  • Information
  • Manufacturing

It is estimated that 92% of enterprises experienced an email security incident last year and data breaches cost companies USD 4.24 million per incident on average. It is also estimated that phishing mitigation can cost businesses more than USD 1 million annually.

Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s digital world. From small businesses to large corporations, no one is immune to this threat. As a result, organizations need to understand the common targets of cyberattacks.


A hospital is a place that is supposed to be safe, but that is not always the case. They are under the constant pressure of cyber threats. The most common threats against hospitals are ransomware and data breach.

Healthcare organizations are constantly under attack from hackers who want to gain access to confidential patient data and business information. They are a common target for cyberattacks due to their sensitive nature, valuable data, and potential for financial gain. In 2022, the Australian health insurer Medibank suffer a data breach impacting 9.7 million customers.

Healthcare organizations store and manage vast amounts of patient information, including medical records, insurance details, and billing information. This data is extremely valuable to hackers who can use it for identity theft or other malicious purposes.

Additionally, hospitals are often targeted due to the potential for financial gain through ransomware attacks or the sale of stolen medical records on the dark web. As such, healthcare organizations must take proactive steps to protect their systems from cyberattacks to ensure the safety of their patients’ data and prevent any financial losses.

Financial services

Cybersecurity threats are becoming more and more sophisticated, and financial institutions are among the most vulnerable targets. This is because they hold vast amounts of sensitive data, including customer information, financial records, trade secrets, and other confidential data.

As a result, cybercriminals are increasingly targeting these organizations to gain access to this sensitive information. Financial services are lucrative targets for cyberattacks because cybercriminals can steal valuable information, such as trade secrets, from finance companies and sell them to their competitors.

This information can be used to compete in the marketplace or to gain an advantage over their competitors. Moreover, financial institutions are more inclined to pay a ransom when their system is held hostage.

The potential disruption of a ransomware attack can have disastrous consequences for the company both in terms of fine and reputation. The cost of a ransomware attack in the financial sector exceeds USD 2 million.

Retail and e-commerce

Cyberattacks have become a major threat to retail and e-commerce companies, as they are a common target for malicious actors. These companies are vulnerable to attacks due to their large global customer base, valuable data, and online payment systems. For instance, e-commerce losses to online payment fraud exceeded USD 20 billion in 2021.

Online retail businesses are connected to the internet and to other businesses through a variety of systems. Cybercriminals can steal customer information or business transaction and use it for identity theft, financial fraud, and other malicious activities. Between 2021 to 2022, 80% of firms experience identity-related breaches.

And many retail businesses are relatively easy targets because they are often poorly protected and lack the resources to defend themselves. The retail sector is a highly visible target and one of the most lucrative areas for cybercrime.

Many retailers are too reliant on outdated systems and software, which makes them vulnerable to sophisticated malware and hacking attacks. In addition, they do not have a comprehensive cyber security plan in place, which leaves them open to attack.


The education sector is a high-value target for cybercriminals seeking to gain access to sensitive information. Schools hold a large amount of personal information on students, parents, and staff.

These institutions are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks due to their reliance on electronic systems and the sensitive information they hold. Cybercriminals can easily social engineer an attack to gain access to sensitive information or exploit vulnerabilities in systems.

These systems may be exposed to malware and ransomware attacks, which can compromise data and disrupt operations. Moreover, attackers believe that the costs of attacking educational institutions are worth the benefits that they may receive.

Schools are often not fully prepared for cyberattacks. Many schools have not yet implemented the best security practices for online communication and file sharing. This leaves them open to attack. Attackers often use them as a training ground to launch future attacks.

Energy and Utilities

Cyberattacks have become an increasingly frequent threat in today’s world, and the energy sector is particularly vulnerable. Utility companies are often responsible for a lot of important infrastructure, such as the electric grid, water systems, and communication networks.

The sector is a high-value target for cyberattacks because it is the most critical infrastructure used for critical services such as water supply, transportation, healthcare, communication, and many more. Since they control a lot of critical services, it is easy to extract ransom from them.

With its reliance on complex networks of interconnected systems, the energy and utility sector is an attractive target for malicious actors looking to gain access to sensitive information or disrupt critical infrastructure.

The stakes are high when it comes to a successful cyberattack on the energy sector. Not only can attackers gain access to sensitive data, but they can also cause significant disruption and damage to critical infrastructure and a city’s livelihood.

Control systems

Cyberattacks on control systems are becoming more frequent, with malicious actors using sophisticated techniques to gain access to critical infrastructure. Control systems are critical for industrial activity and other operations.

Moreover, they are often connected to other networks and devices, which can be used as a gateway for attackers to gain access. In 2022, ransomware attacks on industrial firms increased by 87%.

A compromised control system can cause significant disruptions and damage to equipment, as well as theft of sensitive data. For example, a cyberattack on a chemical plant could cause production to halt, while an attack on a power plant could cause a blackout.


Another common target for cybercrimes is telecommunication networks. Communication networks are important for businesses and individuals. They allow us to share information and have become a vital part of the modern world.

These networks are designed to allow people to share information, and attackers use them to spread viruses, steal data, eavesdrop, and launch attacks.

Attackers are seeking to exploit vulnerabilities in telecommunications networks and systems to gain access to sensitive data, launch distributed denial of service attacks, and harvest Personally Identifiable Information and other confidential information.

Government and public sector

Government entities are high targets for cybercrime because they have large and complex networks that are often interconnected and difficult to protect. Many government agencies are also vulnerable to cyberattacks because they are not well-resourced and do not have the necessary security measures in place.

Additionally, many government entities are not aware of the risks they face from cyberattacks, and they do not have the proper protocols in place to protect their networks. These entities are also highly visible and their data is highly sensitive. In 2023, ransomware is set to cause USD 30 billion in damage to governments and corporations.

Government agencies are often highly complex and have a large number of systems and users. These organizations often have little understanding of cyberthreats and how to protect themselves from them, meaning that they are more likely to be exploited.


Another high target for cyberattacks is the transport sector because it is one of the most vulnerable areas of the economy. Supply chain and trade are the lifeblood of the modern world and transportation systems are often interconnected. Thus making them a prime target and vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Attackers can use cyber espionage to steal information about the transport sector, such as transportation networks and the identification and location of transiting assets. They can also steal information about customers, companies’ activities, trade secrets, and suppliers.

They are also a high-priority target for hackers because they are often used for critical national infrastructure and trade with government agencies. For example, in 2023 the public transportation service Pierce Transit was struck by the Lockbit ransomware, demanding USD 2 million.

Transportation systems can be used to launch attacks against other systems or disrupt supply chains or a country’s transport network.


Water facilities are high targets for cybercriminals because they often used control systems, communication networks, and industrial facilities. These systems are vulnerable to hacking and cyberattacks and can cause a wide range of damages, including loss of life.

Cybercriminals can access water distribution systems by exploiting vulnerabilities in the systems. They can gain access to water distribution systems to cause widespread disruption or demand ransom.

Mobile phone

Mobile phones contain valuable personal information and are increasingly connected to the internet. With the rising popularity of mobile devices and their widespread use in everyday activities, hackers have more opportunities to gain access to sensitive data.

Moreover, mobile phones can be used as a gateway into other systems such as banking applications, social media accounts, and even corporate networks. This makes them an attractive target for cybercriminals who can exploit vulnerabilities in the system or use malware to gain access. For instance, 99% of mobile malware targets android users.

Small business

Small businesses are highly vulnerable to cyberattacks because they are often not as well protected as larger businesses. Cybercriminals commonly target small businesses because they have fewer resources to keep up with the changing landscape of cyber threats.

Small businesses are often run by individuals who are not well-versed in cybersecurity. They are often not aware of the dangers of cyberattacks, are less likely to protect themselves, or unable to take appropriate action. Thus it is easy to take their system hostage and demand a ransom to recover them. It is estimated that 82% of ransomware attack targets small businesses.

Final words

Cybercrime is a growing threat to businesses and individuals alike. It is becoming a major threat to every country around the world. The information that we upload and held on computers, servers, smartphones, and other devices has a lot of value that most of us realized.

With the increasing use of technology, cybercriminals have more opportunities to exploit vulnerable systems. While some cybercriminals target individuals, the most common targets of cyberattacks are businesses and organizations.

This is due to the fact that they have large amounts of valuable data, assets, and resources that can be exploited. Attacks can range from identity theft to data breaches, ransomware attacks, and phishing scams.

Cybercrime can have a significant impact on the financial and personal security of individuals, companies, and government agencies. They are becoming increasingly more difficult to prevent, detect, and respond to.

The use of cyberattacks to target a nation’s critical infrastructure, steal sensitive corporate data, and/or disrupt government networks is a potential game-changer for nations seeking to achieve their national objectives.

Cybercriminals are using the latest technological tools to commit cybercrime. These attacks can be conducted by anyone from anyone, anywhere, anytime. The perpetrators can be criminal gangs, hackers, governments, or even people using their own devices. Hence staying ahead of this evolving threat is becoming more important than ever before.