New cyber threat intelligence suggests that while the volume of cyberattacks is trending down slightly, the attacks are becoming more targeted and nefarious. This latest data can help individuals and businesses make sense of current cyber threats and take action.
New SonicWall Capture Labs threat research reveals that 7.2 billion malware attacks were launched in the first three quarters of 2019, as well as 151.9 million ransomware attacks — marking 15% and 5% year-over-year declines, respectively.
At the same time, however, Internet of Things (IoT) malware jumped to 25 million, a staggering 33% increase since the last report, and encrypted threats spiked 58% through the first three quarters of 2019. Web app attacks are also on the rise, showing a 37% increase over the same period last year.
SonicWall threat researchers are also analyzing new and growing attack vectors, such as side-channel attacks and evasion.
“When we observe how ransomware spreads, we also identify that ransomware tactics have changed,” says SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner. “Historically, the goal for most malware authors was quantity of infections and now we’re seeing attackers focus on fewer higher-value targets. This shift in tactics has also seen a corresponding rise in ransom demands, as attackers attempt to make more money from fewer but higher-value targets, such as local municipalities and hospitals.”
Following suit with ransomware and malware are phishing attacks, which are also trending down globally with a year-to-date decrease of 32%, a number that has held steady for most of the year. Similar to ransomware, attacks are being more targeted toward high-level executives, human resources personnel and information technology leaders.
“What the data shows is that cybercriminals are becoming more nuanced, more targeted and savvier in their attacks. When it comes to businesses, stricter security rules can reduce the threats that our researchers are identifying,” Conner said. “We recommend deploying an approach that provides real-time protection across all networks, so that you don’t find yourself front-page news for a data breach.”
To that end, consider breach detection and prevention services that use artificial intelligence to identify and adapt to new threats in real time, from security experts such as SonicWall, which has been fighting the cybercriminal industry for over 28 years. For more information, visit sonicwall.com.
As cybercriminals hone their abilities, be sure to strengthen your security strategy to follow suit. With the right security measures, you can better protect your organization, business or household.