Top Industries Serving as Models for Cyber Security

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The global threat of cyber hacking is on the rise. A quick internet search reveals the many industries that have been recently threatened by systems breaches, from universities to automakers and even the IRS. The energy company BP reports that it receives over 50,000 attempts at cyber intrusion every day, while the Pentagon reports it receives 10 million each day. It is no longer a matter of “if” your company will be attacked, but when. While many industries are struggling to keep their data safe from cyber attacks, the finance and retail industries have received the highest marks when it comes to cyber security.


The Insights Industry Benchmark Report gave the finance industry the top score among six industries that handle our most personal information. Bitsight, the industry report publisher, attributes the continued high marks for the finance industry to a “culture of awareness of cyber security issues, a mature regulatory landscape and adequate resources committed to protecting corporate networks.”

The financial sector is using innovative cyber security tools to stay ahead of the pack when it comes to preparedness and efficiency. The increased investments into cyber security by the financial sector are paying off as many institutions realize the cost benefit to paying more up front instead of waiting to deal with attacks after they happen.

Businesses in the financial sector are investing in core safeguards to defend against cyber threats. Financial institutions have professionally-designed strategies in place in anticipation of a security breach as well as standards that third parties must meet in order to do business with them. Businesses are actively monitoring and analyzing security intelligence on an ongoing basis. Finally, financial institutions are conducting serious threat assessments and staying up to date with software protection updates.


Retail companies are drastically increasing their information security spending in an effort to keep their customer data, as well as their own, secure. After several high-profile breaches among retailers, the industry has improved its security in an attempt to protect customers against criminals aiming to steal credit card information and other valuable data.

Assessing the security capabilities of third-party cloud providers has become a top priority for retail businesses. By using risk-based security frameworks and communicating service expectations, retailers are working to ensure there are no security breaches due to third-party mistakes.

According to PWC, 90% of retailers are enacting a risk-based security framework and nearly 70% are using cloud-based security measures. Therefore, the retail industry has proven their desire to avoid security breaches as well as bad press. Also, of those retailers, nearly 60% have opted for cyber security insurance.

Only within the last five to ten years have businesses and organizations decided to become proactive in their approach to cyber security. Many industries have been slow to the process, despite clear warnings and cyber attacks in the headlines. The industries of finance and retail are examples of how drastic improvements can be made to mitigate cyber attacks and do everything possible to keep data safe.

Learn more about Maryville University’s Online Master’s of Science in Cyber Security degree program.