- The US leads all other countries with almost half (45%) of all cybersecurity patent applications since 2000
- Asia is home to four of the ten countries with the most cybersecurity patent application submissions; China, India, Republic of Korea and Japan
- Patents involving DoS and DDoS attacks dominate, making up 58% of all patent applications relating to the different types of cyber attacks
- Innovation has surged in the past decade, with 97% of cybersecurity patent applications since the millennium being submitted in the last 10 years
January 2023: IS Decisions, a global software company specializing in security and access management solutions for on-premise and hybrid Microsoft Active Directory environments, releases their latest research analyzing cybersecurity patents to reveal the countries, companies and industries that are leading the way in cybersecurity innovation.
Large enterprises dominate headlines when it comes to cyber attacks, but Verizon’s latest Data Breach Report shows that SMBs are just as attractive to criminals, suggesting that businesses of all sizes need effective cyber security. To uncover where the most innovation is taking place in the prevention of cyber attacks, IS Decisions has analyzed cybersecurity patent filings from 2000 to 2022.
Table 1: The top 10 countries with the most cybersecurity patents
|Rank||Office||# of cybersecurity patent applications between 2000 and 2022||% of all cybersecurity patent application filings|
|1||United States of America||1,087||45%|
|2||International application (Worldwide)||326||13.3%|
|4||European Patent Office (39 member states)||250||10.2%|
|8||Republic of Korea||53||2.1%|
The US, which is home to 1.1 million cybersecurity professionals, is leading the way in terms of cybersecurity patents, with 1,087 applications, equating to 45% of all filings globally. According to a recent AAG report, 53.35 million US citizens were affected by cybercrime in the first half of 2022 which suggests patent filings are unlikely to decrease from US companies in the near future.
In second place is International applications, with 326, or 13.3% of all filings since 2000. International (PCT) patent applications receive worldwide patent protection, a huge benefit for companies operating across markets.
China leads the world with the most patent applications in general. The country has submitted more cybersecurity patent applications than India, Australia and Canada combined, with 304 filings making up 12.4% of all applications globally. According to the same AAG report, between Q2 and Q3 of 2022 China saw a 4,852% increase in data breaches, amounting to 14.1 million breached accounts. This could be a driving force behind their patent filings.
It was also uncovered that 83% of the world’s unicorn companies are located in the top 10 countries filing the most cybersecurity patent applications, which suggests that countries with successful startups and global tech growth are putting money behind a priority on innovation. Also supporting this is the finding that over the past decade Asia has accounted for 52% of global growth in tech-company revenues and is home to 4 out of ten of the countries with the most cybersecurity patent applications.
Table 2: The top 10 companies applying for the most cybersecurity patents
|Rank||Company||Industry||# of cybersecurity application filings between 2000 and 2022||% of all cybersecurity application filings|
|1||China Electronic Technology Cyber Security Co Ltd||Aviation & Aerospace||135||5.6%|
|3||Argus Cyber Security Ltd||Cybersecurity||67||2.8%|
|6||Microsoft Technology Licensing Llc||Tech||52||2.2%|
|7||Elex Cybersecurity Inc||Cybersecurity||49||2.0%|
|8||The Boeing Company||Aviation & Aerospace||40||1.7%|
Although China came third for cybersecurity patents globally, it’s home to the company which has applied for the most patents since 2000. China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) filed a total of 135 applications, 24 more than India submitted over the same time period.
In second place with 114 applications is Honeywell, an American multinational conglomerate operating in aerospace and automotive, as well as building technologies, performance materials, and safety and productivity solutions.
Table 3: Patent applications by type of attack
|Rank||Cyber attacks||# of cybersecurity application filings between 2000 and 2022||% of all cybersecurity application filings|
|1||Denial-of-Service (DOS) Attack||1,406||32.8%|
|2||Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDOS)||1,114||26.0%|
|4||Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attack||366||8.5%|
|8||SQL injection attack||77||1.8%|
|10||Advanced persistent threats||47||1.1%|
Taking the first and second spots for the most patent applications filed since 2000, DDoS and DoS attacks made up 58% of all applications. In 2018 the security sector was shocked when the world record for the biggest DDoS attack was broken twice in 5 days. These attacks are becoming more expensive and more advanced than ever before, highlighting that the risk is high and the need for prevention methods is greater than ever.
Looking at the rest of the top 10 cyber attacks which have triggered the most patent applications, we can see replay attacks came in third place, with 640 patents filed, followed by Man-in-the-Middle attacks (366) and Cross-site scripting (158).
Cybercriminals will always find new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in technology so it’s crucial for companies to keep up with the latest trends and innovations in cybersecurity. Knowing where to add layers of protection is vital for businesses to avoid becoming a target. SMBs and enterprises alike need effective IT security solutions to avoid falling victim to cyberattacks and facing a huge impact on operations and finances.
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François Amigorena, CEO at IS Decisions comments on the research:
“As technology advances, so do attack methods. This research highlights that the spikes in cyber attacks seen in recent years are driving a huge boom in cybersecurity innovation. While patent applications peaked in 2020 when 453 were filed, these numbers tapered off in 2021, as the cybersecurity landscape, like many others, recovered from the impacts of the pandemic on collaboration and research. The need for innovation will never go away as cyber threats will continue to evolve, but it is exciting to see the immense investment in and progress towards ever-more sophisticated prevention methods to mitigate risk.
“The amount of patent filings for DoS and DDoS prevention methods isn’t surprising as we saw a huge amount of preoccupation around these types of attacks and their prevention methods in some of our other recent research. IT leaders can rest a little easier knowing that there is so much interest in advancing cyber threat prevention methods to keep pace with new threats and help reduce risks.”
We scraped 2,438 patent applications mentioning the term “cyber security” or “cybersecurity” on their front pages, as listed on WIPO Patentscope on 17/10/2022. A further 4,285 patent applications mentioning different types of cyber attacks were taken from WIPO PatentScope on 18/10/2022. All terms were searched for in the English language only. Company count data for this section was taken from WIPO PatentScope on 24/10/2022.
Data was collected in October 2022 and is available upon request.
IS Decisions is a global software company with comprehensive solutions that make it easy for IT teams to secure and manage on-site and workforce access to corporate networks, cloud applications and the data within. Trusted by over 3,400 organizations, it offers proven solutions for both small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large organizations, including some of the most regulated and security-conscious in the world.