Cybersecurity Concerns and Trends Report 2024

More of us are online now than ever before, but this increased connection has a dark side. Cybercrime is on the rise and attacks are become more sophisticated every day. The result? Hundreds of thousands of victims, and per-country losses of over $40 billion.

To gain a greater understanding of how cyber issues impact different countries, we dug into the biggest cyber threats and created a Cybersecurity Concerns Report. We’ve explored the latest developments in the cyber threat landscape, from the most-googled threats to the volume of victim cases and estimated financial losses, to discover which internet attacks worry people the most and have had the biggest impacts.

The World’s Most Searched Cybersecurity Problems

By gathering Google Search data, we were able to determine how many people were researching different cybersecurity issues around the world. 

Research revealed that malware issues were the most searched-for cybersecurity problem in the world, with a staggering 4,220,000 Google searches for the term within the past year alone.  

Malware (short for malicious software) is an umbrella term used to describe any program created with the intent to harm computer systems. It’s intrusive, allowing cybercriminals to infiltrate personal and sensitive information by interfering with how a device operates or even taking control of it. Malware programs are deliberately misleading and are often hidden inside other apps or downloads, so it’s not surprising that it’s the number one concern for people across the globe. 

While malware was the most searched-for cybersecurity concern, a specific form of malicious software known as ransomware landed in second place on the list, with 3,460,000 searches over the past 12 months. Ransomware hijacks a system to lock users out of their devices, and often forces victims to pay money to regain access.

Denial-of-service attacks (also known as DoS attacks) came in third place, with 2,830,000 Google searches in 2023. These attacks flood websites and servers with false traffic and requests, overwhelming them until they are no longer functional for normal users. Some types, particularly DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks, are unfortunately very common on gaming servers. One of the easiest ways to protect yourself from DDoS attacks is with a VPN for PS5 or Xbox, as this secures your traffic and hides your real network behind a different IP address.

The fourth most searched term was another form of malware, Trojan horses, with a total of 2,530,000 searches. Arguably one of the most alarming cyber attacks out there, a Trojan horse allows cybercriminals to trick unsuspecting individuals into installing malicious software onto their computer that is disguised as a legitimate program. They’re often hidden as attachments inside an email or free download files. Once on a user’s device, they allow attackers to gain access to a person’s information or spy on their activity. 

Finally, in fifth place was identity theft, which received 1,290,000 searches over the past twelve months. Identity thieves often hack into networks or devices to gather another person’s personal information like their name, birthday, credit card numbers, and more without their permission, and use it to commit crimes such as fraud. 

Mapped: Which Cybersecurity Worries Are Different Countries Searching For?

While malware issues in general are at the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to cybersecurity, some destinations were more troubled by it than others.

Interestingly, in the US, the most searched-for cybersecurity concern was revealed to be identity theft, which garnered 766,500 Google searches in 2023. 

Meanwhile, in the UK, a specific type of malware, Trojan horses emerged as the most commonly searched-for cyber attack, with the issue receiving 286,000 searches through the year. Brits weren’t the only nation concerned about Trojan horses – this attack was also the most searched-for in New Zealand (14,590 searches), Australia (93,400 searches), and Canada (100,300 searches).

In Sweden, spoofing garnered 39,500 searches throughout the year. The rest of Scandinavia shared the same concern, with Norway (26,800 searches) and Denmark (23,000 searches) also searching for spoofing more than other attacks. Spoofing is similar to identity theft, but the most common difference is that attackers could send an email or letter that appears to come from a source the victim trusts. They use this to extort more personal information, which they’ll then use against the victim at a later date. 

Finally, in Switzerland (26,600 searches), Italy (197,800 searches), Spain (127,400 searches), and France (119,700 searches), the most searched-for concern was ransomware. 

Most Searched Cybersecurity Issues in the US

Data from the US suggests that identity theft is the nation’s top cybersecurity concern. This is unsurprising given that the attack hits close to home for many, as nearly half the US population (49%) know someone who’s been a victim of this crime. 

Our study found that Trojan horses were the second most-searched cybersecurity concern across the US, with a staggering 660,000 people researching them in 2023. In third place, with a worrying 609,000 searches, were more general malware issues. 

Denial-of-service attacks were the fourth biggest concern in the US – a total of 507,900 searches show that they’re a top concern for many Americans. Finally, in fifth place was spoofing, with 470,000 searches throughout 2023.

Nations Most Impacted by Cybercrime

Technological advancements over the past few years mean it’s not surprising that we’ve seen an explosion in the number of cyber attacks across the globe. Despite their best efforts, some countries have been more impacted than others. 

We analyzed the most up-to-date data for two different data points: the estimated number of people who have fallen victim to cybercrime, and the estimated value of monetary loss due to cyber attacks. We used this information to establish which countries suffered the biggest financial losses as a result of cybercrime in the last few years. 

We gave each data point a score out of 10 for a combined total out of 20, allowing us to rank each location. With a worrying score of 20/20, the United States came in first place for losses to cybercrime. 

This was down to an estimated 5,321,493 cases of cybercrime leading to the loss of an estimated $42,940,000,000.  

The second most impacted country was the United Kingdom, which scored 19/20. It was estimated to have had around 4,966,667 victim cases reported, suffering a total loss of $40,080,000,000.

Following closely behind, with a score of 18/20, was Spain. Spain had far fewer estimated victim cases of cybercrime than the UK and US, with around 2,503,373 according to the most recent figures – possibly due to its smaller population size. Despite this, the country still suffered a monumental loss of around $20,200,000,000.

Turkey was in fourth place, scoring 17/20. The country incurred losses of $15,460,000,000 in the most recent annual report, due to an estimated 1,916,467 recorded victim cases. After this was Germany, which received 16/20 overall. The country saw a loss of around $7,360,000,000, with a staggering 912,433 estimated victim cases. 

US States Most Impacted by Cybercrime

We noticed an interesting trend in the US: some states have significantly higher cybercrime losses than others. 

By taking into account the most recent number of victims of cybercrime reported to the FBI in each state, as well as the monetary losses each state incurred, we were able to pinpoint the areas of the country that were most impacted by internet crime. 

Unsurprisingly, in first place was California, which received a score of 20/20 in our report. This was due to 80,766 recorded cybercrime incidents, as well as a state loss of $2,012,806,866. This could be attributed to California’s size: it’s one of the most populous states in the US, and is home to some of the biggest tech giants around the globe, including Google, Apple, and social media giant Meta. 

Florida took second place, with a score of 19.6/20 in our study. Almost beating California to first place, our data revealed that there were 42,792 reports of cybercrime in the state, as well as monetary losses of around $844,972,494.

In third place was Texas with a score of 19.1/20. Using published figures, we were able to establish that there were 38,661 victims of internet crime reported, along with records of around $763,140,903 being lost. 

New York came in fourth place, scoring 19.1/20. While the Big Apple’s overall score was the same as Texas, fewer victim reports (25,112) were recorded. However, New York faced slightly bigger financial losses, which were recorded to be around $777,099,358.

Finally, in fifth place was Illinois, which received an overall score of 18.2/20. It was reported that around 14,786 people were impacted by cybercrime in some way, leaving the state with monetary losses of $266,742,489.

Industries Most Impacted by Cybercrime 

When it comes to the industries most affected by cybercrime, people may assume that the finance sector would be the most desirable to cybercriminals – for obvious reasons. 

However, after analyzing data available on Statista, we concluded that the manufacturing industry was the most impacted by cybercrime worldwide, making up 24.8% of recorded incidents. 

A recent article highlighted that senior workers in the manufacturing sector are often willing to pay ransoms to cybercriminals who have infected their network with ransomware, to avoid an even more costly halt to proceedings on the factory floor. 

In second place was the finance sector, which received 18.9% of worldwide cyber attacks, as detailed by the most up-to-date reports. Naturally, banks and other financial institutions are privy to masses of personal data and information, making this industry very appealing to cybercriminals. 

This doesn’t mean that the financial or manufacturing sectors, or any of the industries we investigated, are easy pickings. They all use cutting-edge encryption technology, authentication methods, customer protection plans, and more, to protect themselves from cyber attacks. 

The next most impacted industry was revealed to be the professional, business, and consumer sector, which endured 14.6% of all cyber attacks reported globally. The energy industry came in fourth place, with 18.7% of all cyber attacks directed at it in recent years. Finally, retail and wholesale was fifth, with 8.7% of cybercrime cases worldwide occurring in that sector. 

How a VPN Can Help Improve Your Security Online

With cybercrime still such a prominent issue, it’s encouraging to see from our report that internet users are trying to educate themselves on different types of cybersecurity issues and how they can protect themselves online.

One of the ways in which users can protect themselves online is by investing in a VPN. While a VPN (virtual private network) might not be able to prevent large-scale cyber attacks on businesses and corporations, it can be an easy way to help protect yourself against some kinds of attacks, like identity theft and DDoS attacks. 

Below, we’ve outlined how VPNs can help you to protect yourself online: 

  1. Your IP address will be shielded 

When you connect to a VPN, it reroutes your traffic away to a private server and changes your IP address, making it look like you’re connecting from somewhere else. This makes it very difficult for outside parties to be able to track your location, allowing you to browse more anonymously.

  1. Your data will be safer 

VPNs use encryption to add a layer of security to your data when it travels between your device and different servers. In simple terms, your personal information will be converted into ciphertext that’s virtually unreadable to any outside parties trying to pry. This hides your activity and protects you from anyone spying on your information. 

  1. You’ll be protected on public Wi-Fi

Connecting to public Wi-Fi is sometimes necessary, but may leave you vulnerable to cybercriminals. Unlike your private home network, public networks have no protection from malicious parties. Using a VPN can add a barrier between you and potential attackers, allowing you to connect from different locations without worrying. 

  1. Your browsing history will remain private 

Depending on where you live, your ISP may be required to store all of your browsing history and data – and in some cases, they may even sell it on to third parties. Good VPNs enforce no-logs policies, which mean they never log or store your data, so they can’t give it to nosy authorities or make a profit off of your information.


Our Cybersecurity Concerns and Trends Report reveals which cybersecurity issues people around the world are searching the most on Google, and which countries are most likely to be victims of cyber attacks and suffer any subsequent money loss. 

To create this report, the team took a seed list of the most common cybersecurity concerns, and then analyzed the following factors:

    • The number of Google searches over the past 12 months for common cyber attacks, both globally and by country*
    • An estimated number of victims to cybercrime by country and by US state
    • The estimated value of monetary loss due to cybercrime by country and by US state
    • The global distribution of cyber attacks by industry

*Google Search terms were adapted slightly for some countries due to low search volumes.

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