Whether it’s phishing emails exploiting the current COVID vaccine situation, or the recent rise in ransomware, cyber-crime seems to be in the news and more prevalent than ever before. Whilst the pandemic has been a significant driver of recent rises, as we’ll see below, that’s not been the sole cause in all cases. Read on to learn about the latest trends in cyber security that you should be on the lookout for.
Ransomware is on the rise
Ransomware is the most common form of cyber-attack. It’s the practice of infecting a business’s system with malware, decrypting a business’s data, and then demanding a cash sum from the business in order to return things to normal. I.e. holding it to ransom. Ransomware as a service – the practice of packaging and selling easy to deploy ransomware - has made it more straightforward for cyber attackers than ever before. Now a cybercriminal needs little technical expertise to commit a cyber-attack and can purchase it straight off the dark web. The frequency of attacks reflects this with a 64% increase year-over-year in the first half of 2021. The average ransomware payment has also increased this year by 82%: now $570,000.
Expect more attacks on cloud servicesCloud services have been integral to facilitating remote work as well as providing an extra layer of efficiency to business operations. However, with their rise in popularity, their targeting by criminals has risen too. A recent analysis by McAfee found nearly 3.1 million external attacks on cloud user accounts throughout 2020. During the second quarter, they hit a high and, in some countries, they increased over the second half of 2020.
IoT will become more vulnerable
The Internet of Things is slowly making our hardware cleverer and our offices more efficient, with the IoT devices market set to reach $1.3 trillion by 2026. Alarmingly though, businesses look like they’re far from capable of managing the increased cyber security risk. Less than 42% of organisations say they’re capable of identifying insecure IoT devices. Moreover, when organisations do identify badly secured devices, only about 14% replace these devices immediately.
Insider threats are rising
We spend a lot of time worrying about external hackers but we often ignore the threats that employees of a business create themselves. Insider threats started to resurge in the summer of 2019 when Amazon Web Services employee Paige Thompson managed to steal the data of customers that used the Capital One credit card. Since then, insider threats have gone up 47% (Source: Panda Security) to the end of 2020, with a further 8% rise expected by the end of 2021 (Source: IT Portal).
Beyond the usual combination of anti-virus, firewalls, and cyber security training, staying aware of the latest trends in cyber security is a reliable way of staying ahead of the cybercriminals. If you’re keen to keep these trends front of mind, click here to download the SonicWall cyber threat report. It will cover the state of cyber security in 2021 and give you further inspiration on where to focus your security efforts in the future.