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Redscan, the managed threat detection, incident response and penetration testing specialist, today released its ‘Cyber security in search’ report, revealing the most searched for people, businesses, scams and data breaches in the history of the industry.


The report, available to download here, is based on analysis of Google Trends global search history dating back to 2004.

Key findings include:

  • Robert Herjavec is by far the most famous person in security – nearly four times more searched for then Kevin Mitnick, who claims to be the ‘World’s most famous hacker’
  • Apple is the most searched for brand in the UK in relation to phishing scams, ahead of PayPal, HMRC, Amazon and NatWest
  • The 2017 Equifax breach is the most searched for data breach ever
  • The security bug, Heartbleed, was searched for more than any other security threat, even WannaCry
  • When it comes to terminology, ‘cyber security’ is now the number one search term used globally, overtaking ‘network security’ and ‘IT security’. Use of the one word spelling ‘cybersecurity’ is more common in the US than the UK, but still the less popular variant
  • Searches for old-school threats such as keylogger, spyware and adware are on the decline. By contrast, interest in cryptojacking has gathered pace in recent years
  • Passwords, antivirus and intrusion detection systems are of declining interest too, while searches for SIEM, cloud security, IoT security and threat hunting are on the rise
  • Searches for cyber security jobs, courses and salaries are growing quickly, indicative of rising interest in security careers and demand for talent

“Cyber security has changed remarkably over the last 15 years and Google’s search data is a great measure of this,” said Andy Kays, Technical Director at Redscan. “Our report shows how the industry has transformed, how threats are evolving and the challenges this is creating for businesses. In today’s security landscape, it’s more important than ever for organisations to maintain robust security. This is underscored by the rising interest in online privacy and the fallout and damage caused by the Equifax data breach, the most Googled cyber breach ever.

“As businesses embrace digital transformation, their security strategy must evolve accordingly. Our data shows that interest in traditional preventative tools is declining in favour of next generation technologies that offer enhanced threat detection and response capabilities.

“Despite the technological changes within security, improving employee cyber awareness remains as important as ever. Many people still don’t set strong enough passwords or make use of multi-factor authentication – worrying given the continued fall in global searches related to password security. To encourage best practice, businesses need to conduct regular staff training and ensure that it is regularly reviewed to reflect the latest threats, such as social engineering scams.”

“Given the global cyber security skills crisis, it is encouraging to see growing interest in security courses and careers. However, much more needs to be done to develop the existing talent pool, especially in terms of promoting more women and people from minority ethnic groups to top security jobs.”


Download report




The report is based on data from Google Trends, an online service that can be used to analyse the popularity of Google search queries worldwide. The tool has enabled us to compare interest in different terms over time. Due to the difficulty of analysing searches based on keywords alone, Redscan could ascertain certain trends but not others, owing to spelling differences and word ambiguities. For example, search queries for ‘Artificial Intelligence’ in relation to security are not straightforward, since AI is used across many different industries.

If you believe any aspect of the report is inaccurate, please get in touch and let us know. Search data correct as of 16th August 2019.


About Redscan

Redscan is an award-winning provider of managed security services, specialising in threat detection and integrated response.

Possessing a deep knowledge of offensive security, Redscan’s experts are among the most qualified in the industry, working as an extension of clients’ in-house resources to expose and address vulnerabilities plus swiftly identify and shut down breaches. Services offered include CREST accredited Penetration Testing, Red Teaming and Managed Detection & Response.

By understanding how attackers operate, leveraging cutting-edge threat intelligence, and offering highly acclaimed service, Redscan’s cyber security professionals can be trusted to provide the insight and support needed to successfully mitigate information security risk and achieve compliance standards.