Immature classification methods for cyber events prevent technical staff, organizational leaders, and policy makers from engaging in meaningful and nuanced conversations about the threats they face. This chapter differentiates cyber effects across the technical impacts on the IT network themselves (primary), the impacts on organizations (secondary), and larger impacts to society (second order). A taxonomy of primary effects is applied and used to analyze over 7,000 publicized cyber events from 2014–2020. Industry sectors vary in the scale of events they are subjected to, the distribution between exploitive and disruptive event types, and the method by which data is stolen or organizational operations are disrupted. These results highlight significant differences by sector and demonstrate that strategies may vary based on deeper understandings of the threat environment.
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