Best Industries for Cybersecurity


Published April 11, 2023

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The best industries for cybersecurity offer specialists opportunities and challenges. Learn what threats these industries face and how they fight them. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Cybersecurity has a role in nearly every industry because many sectors rely on cybersecurity to protect sensitive data like finance and medical information. This demand correlates to faster-than-average job growth projections for the cybersecurity field.

Cybersecurity is responsible for safeguarding our businesses, supply chains, and education and healthcare systems. Even government agencies like the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) use principles from this field to address national security concerns. 

As we continue digitizing our lives, our reliance on cybersecurity grows. Thus, organizations must stay diligent to avoid suffering intrusions. To adapt to cyberthreat innovations, the cybersecurity industry is dynamic and reactive.

Below, explore the best industries for cybersecurity, including sectors offering the most professional opportunities, the top-performing cybersecurity industries, and the sectors that need cybersecurity most.

For information sourced from IBM's Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2023, note that this data is not representative of every cybersecurity threat in 2022; rather, the information below represents an analysis of IBM's Security X-Force's own incident response metrics. 

Top Industries Using Cybersecurity

Certain industries require stronger cybersecurity measures and practices than others. These sectors may face a greater number of threats or have more critical infrastructure at risk. The following list outlines some of the top industries with cybersecurity needs. 

  • Finance and Insurance: Between 2015 and 2020, IBM reported finance and insurance was the most-attacked industry worldwide. This industry primarily faces phishing and server attacks, which target finances and personal information.
  • Healthcare: According to IBM, almost 6% of all cyberattacks in 2022 targeted healthcare, including efforts to steal patient data. This industry faces frequent ransomware and vulnerability exploitations. Healthcare cybersecurity can be strengthened through enhanced data protection regulations, risk assessments, and security controls.
  • Energy: Nearly 11% of all cyberattacks in 2022 were directed toward the energy field, according to IBM. Ransomware and other attacks on the energy sector impact the entire nation's infrastructure, making it particularly attractive to cyberterrorists. In collaboration with the Department of Energy, the sector has increased its cybersecurity capabilities by enhancing infrastructure reliability and developing specialized cybersecurity solutions.

Industries That Need Cybersecurity

Cyberattackers have an endless stream of organizations and industries they can target. Emerging industries spring up without adequate protections in place, while existing industries often undergo changes that make them more susceptible to threats. 

Below, we look at industries in both of these categories and the challenges they face. 

New Industries at High Risk

  • Digital Assets: Between 2016 and 2021, the digital asset market grew from $14 billion to $3 trillion, according to PwC. However, decentralization, vulnerable private keys, and a lack of intermediaries put the industry at high risk of attack. In response to the growing threats, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission nearly doubled the size of its Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit in 2022. The World Economic Forum highlights four key areas that digital asset organizations must assess and monitor for better security: consensus protocols, consumer privacy, private keys, and smart contracts.
  • E-Sports: Fortune Business Insights projects e-sports will more than triple in market size by 2029. This fast-growing industry has many potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities, including consumer information and microtransaction payment processing. Solutions include improved monitoring, increased identity authentication, and better user-end education about cybersecurity protocols. 
  • Artificial Intelligence: AI technology has grown rapidly in recent years, particularly in the cybersecurity field. If this technology is compromised, the organizations that rely on AI become more vulnerable. For protection, businesses using AI need to implement proper access and authentication controls and an AI operations audit trail.

Established Industries With Increasing Threats

  • Manufacturing: Manufacturing faced the largest share of cyberattacks in 2021 and 2022, according to IBM. Ripple effects from supply chain disruptions made this industry particularly vulnerable to ransomware, server attacks, and data theft. To address the risks, CISA suggests that organizations implement better cybersecurity practices and frameworks. 
  • Professional and Business Services: According to IBM, professional, business, and consumer services accounted for nearly 15% of all cyberattacks in 2022. Among other factors, the transition to remote work, zero trust network access, and cloud-based delivery systems leave enterprises more vulnerable to cyberintrusions. As a result, businesses need to invest further in threat intelligence and security for applications and cloud technologies.
  • Education: According to Check Point Research, the education industry experienced a 43% increase in cyberattacks between 2021 and 2022. With stretched budgets, large stores of personal information, and shared computers, schools make for attractive cybertargets. Educational institutions must focus on cybersecurity awareness, better monitoring, and adopting online systems with robust security frameworks. 

Best Industries for Cybersecurity Experts

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the highest-employing industries for information security analysts as of 2021 include computer systems design, management, and credit intermediation. Demand in these sectors may offer cybersecurity professionals higher salaries, advancement opportunities, and career flexibility.

The industries with the highest projected growth from 2021 to 2031 for information security analysts include information services, computer systems and design, and retail trade. The top-paying industries for these professionals in 2021 included information services; computer manufacturing; and financial services like securities, commodities, and investments.

Prospective cybersecurity experts can also pursue careers in other critical infrastructure sectors, such as the communications or transportation industries. Like many of the fields mentioned above, these critical industries have been identified as important areas of growth that need specialized cybersecurity support. 

When choosing a career path, professionals should think about the type of work they want to perform, not just the benefits. Critical, fast-growing industries may offer better financial rewards, but often come with increased responsibility and on-the-job pressure. 

More Resources for Increasing Industry Cyber Safety

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Learn how to increase cybersecurity awareness for students

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How are new technologies being used in cybersecurity?

What is the role of blockchain and crypto in cybersecurity?

What is the role of blockchain and crypto in cybersecurity?

Get familiar with the most common cyberattacks

Get familiar with the most common cyberattacks

Frequently Asked Questions About Cybersecurity Industries

  • What industries are at high risk of cyberattacks?

    According to IBM, the industries that encountered the most attacks worldwide in 2022 were manufacturing; finance and insurance; and professional, business, and consumer services. In North America, energy was the most-attacked sector.

  • Which industries pay the most for cybersecurity experts?

    According to 2021 BLS data, the highest-paying industry for information security analysts was remediation and other waste management services, which pays $173,250 on average. However, this field only employs a small number of cybersecurity professionals. The "other information services" sector, which employs a much larger number of information security analysts, paid an average annual wage of $149,540 in 2021.

  • Are there any industries that don't need cybersecurity?

    Any industry with a digital presence or computerized operations requires cybersecurity. Without proper security measures, organizations in any industry can lose information, technology, time, and money to cyberattacks. 

  • Why are some industries more vulnerable to cyberattacks than others?

    Vulnerability to cyberattacks can result from several factors, including industry size, type, and importance. Industries with a large attack surface have more digital infrastructure to secure and, consequently, more risk from cyberthreats. Additionally, industries with access to private information and money may be more profitable and attractive to attackers. Critical industries are more vulnerable because of the impact an attack can have on other sectors, the economy, or the country as a whole. 

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