Cyber criminals are determined now more than ever to attack our most vulnerable companies. Organizations of all sizes are sitting in the crosshairs of cyber criminals, just waiting to be attacked.

New research has come to light regarding which industries in general are most vulnerable, as well as which jobs are primarily targeted.

A new study from security company Proofpoint shows that there are a few specific industries that are sitting in the spotlight.

Proofpoint performs research studies like this quarterly. This time it said:

99 percent of the most heavily targeted email addresses in the quarter didn’t rank as such in our last report.

Proofpoint’s study does peek into who may be the next target. The study mentioned that two industries in particular, over the past year, have been the biggest targets for email phishers.

These industries are biotechnology and real estate! The pharmaceutical companies being in the scope makes a lot of sense, especially with the profits that can be taken, the formulas they develop, and the potential to get hold of newer drugs. This leaves the question as to why real estate has the second most attempts.

According to Proofpoint’s study, real estate companies actually hold quite a bit of financial information, which makes sense. Real estate businesses have frequent transactions, and just about everything happens online, leaving a lot of potential for hackers.

Within the last 5 quarters, drug companies had an average of 282 attacks per company, and real estate had 272. As mentioned previously, this is per company, showing there are quite a bit of attacks…

Also, within the last quarter, construction companies have become a growing target. Proofpoint also analyzed the job titles that are the most vulnerable, which seem to be production and operations individuals. This is followed by PR-type individuals, marketing, and then management.

The least interesting to hackers were individuals in distribution, administration, and lastly, customer service.

Proofpoint mentions that the size of the companies being targeted doesn’t matter, it appears to be everything. It is suggested companies not only work with experts to set up protective measures, but also to increase and maintain awareness around individuals who may be targeted themselves.

This battle is fairly constant, and can be lost in a flash. The urgency created around attacks like these forces tens of thousands to fall victim daily.