Before the year arrived, industry experts were touting 2020 as the turning point for Cloud services; expecting half the world’s workforce to be Cloud-connected and remotely working by the year’s end. They weren’t wrong, but they weren’t quite right enough either.
Covid-19 forced entire nations to adapt, seeing remote working and Cloud-enabled solutions our best (and in some cases, only) method of business continuity. The UK was all online, all of the time. Sadly, as the results of the SonicWall 2021 Cyber Threat Report demonstrate, this made the nation’s remote workers the ultimate prey for the ever-rising threat of cyber crime.
Over the past year, remote workers have been the catalyst for a booming cyber crime economy, encouraging exponential rises in the development and delivery of online threats. Knowing that their victims would be online more than ever, often via the lesser protection of a home broadband network, was all the motivation the cybercriminals needed.
It’s no surprise, then, to see results as stark as those of SonicWall’s report. Some choice statistics in cyber crime trends for 2020 include:
- 3.8 million encrypted threats – a rise of 4%
- 4.8 trillion intrusion attempts, a rise of 20%
- 81.9 million cryptojacking attacks, a rise of 28%
- 304.6 million ransomware attacks, a rise of 62%
- …and 56.9 million Internet of Things attacks, a rise of 66%.
Covid-19 was, unfortunately, the perfect leverage too. Not only was it the reason so many of us were connected from either end of a network, but it showed up remarkably often as the subject of countless phishing campaigns. Capitalising on a national panic, cyber criminals soon exploited our good-faith opening of ransomware-ridden emails, their subject lines promising vaccination updates or, more cruelly, false alarms on the wellbeing of friends and family.
SonicWall’s full report itself makes for substantial, yet easily-digestible reading, demonstrating cyber crime trends and statistics clearly and concisely - without revelling in too much technical jargon.
Most importantly, it’s an eye-opening read into the future of cyber crime, and how a new way of working might also mean new ways of defending our businesses, users and clients.