Guest Post: Targeted individuals — most likely victims of social engineering attacks in 2023

According to data presented by the Atlas VPN team, targeted individuals were the most common victims of social engineering attacks throughout the latter part of 2022 and the initial half of 2023.  

During the observed period, around 31% of all social engineering attacks were aimed at targeted individuals, with the public administration sector following second at 18% of incidents.

The numbers are based on the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) Threat Landscape report, October 2023 edition. ENISA observed approximately 2,800 cybersecurity incidents in the European Union and beyond throughout the study period. 

The “all” category encompasses cybersecurity events that have a global effect across markets  was the third-most (7.97%) targeted sector in social engineering attacks. It reinforces the notion that cyber threats transcend the boundaries of specific industries or sectors.

The banking and finance sector (5.49%) follows closely, while the postal and courier sector (5.22%) rounds out the top five social engineering victims. The disparage in share percentages between first place and others is a testament to how threat actors view targetting individuals as the most profitable attack vector.

Digital infrastructure (4.4%), digital service providers (4.12%), as well as media and entertainment (3.3%) were also some of the most-targeted sectors in social engineering attacks, among others.

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