According to The Cybersecurity Media Trends Barometer 2024, in both the UK and US, journalists were writing about cybersecurity more than ever last year. In the UK, in H1 2023, there was a huge 122% increase readership for ‘cybersecurity,’ when compared with the same period in 2022. This included 198% more articles talking about cybersecurity. It’s the same story in the US too, with cybersecurity mentions increasing by 67% in January – June 2023 (on the same period in 2022). But why are journalists writing about cybersecurity more? And what does this mean for business leaders and the public alike?
The Democratisation of Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity was once deemed as ‘too technical’ or ‘specialist’ for general interest. However, things are changing, and cybersecurity is becoming more accessible for all. This is reflected in the increase in national news outlets covering cybersecurity news stories. In the US, for example, coverage of cybersecurity topics increased by a huge 76% in national and business titles (Jan – June 2023 over Jan -June 2022).
Of course, national news outlets wouldn’t use precious (and highly coveted) editorial space on a topic that people weren’t interested in. So why are more people engaging with cybersecurity content?
Big Companies Are (Still) Being Targeted
It’s true that a big name will draw attention – and a lot of it! From the Uber hack of 2022 to the WannaCry cyberattack on the NHS in 2017, a breach on an organisation with a lot of customers is likely to affect the average person. It’s in the best interests of the average person to be aware of breaches like these so that they can keep themselves secure and proactively protect themselves. The company themselves should contact affected affiliates directly too.
It’s also worth looking at the 2022 Rockstar Games breach, which gained a lot of national attention. In this breach, no end-user data was compromised, however hackers stole collateral (including source code) pertaining to the long-awaited Grand Theft Auto 6. Given the popularity of the series and the secrecy around the game, this received a lot of attention.
Cybersecurity: The Great Equaliser
As previously stated, in one way or another, more frequently than ever attacks are affecting the average person. Cybercriminals are targeting a broader, more general selection of targets, from schools to healthcare organisations. We’re no longer exclusively seeing Fortune 500 companies breached and covered, but smaller breaches are also receiving a lot of attention and, importantly, propelling the conversation around cybersecurity into the mainstream.
It’s said that every organisation is a good target, which means that every person holds valuable data that needs protection. However, smaller organisations and individuals often don’t have the funds to quickly become robust. This is partly why we’re seeing more opportunistic breaches on smaller organisations covered more frequently. It’s imperative the conversation around cybersecurity is raised, and awareness amplified. We’ve seen this with the rise in consumer magazines seeking comment on cybersecurity issues, especially around protecting the end user online. As cyber moves further from a wholly ‘business’ to a ‘people’ problem, the conversation will only continue to gain traction.
Geopolitics: The Bigger Picture
It’s also worth looking at the macro picture, as an indication as to why cyber is getting more press. Geopolitics is continuing to shape the news cycle and, in many ways, cyberattacks may just be the newest frontier of warfare. With nation state attackers more common and general instability, it’s unsurprising that people are asking ‘what if?’
Additionally, governments are now looking to be more cyber aware when writing and implementing policies. This, along with compliance, will always be ‘good news’ (in both respects).
Cybersecurity News Isn’t Going Anywhere
With more data being produced, more companies being breached, and more facts emerging, cybersecurity won’t be leaving the news cycle any time soon! As long as companies are being breached and all the while technology develops, cyber will still be front of mind for tech journalists and business leaders alike.
Cutting Through The Noise
But… That means there’s a lot of noise. More scope for coverage is good, but that doesn’t mean anything goes. A strong story and unique data give the best chance at coverage. For business leaders it’s important to keep up to date with the latest news and find ways to move the conversation forward, whether that’s through research or commentary. A good PR agency can help you do that.
For more information about the latest cybersecurity news trends, check out The Cybersecurity Media Trends Barometer 2024.