ORGANISATIONS have experienced a 29% increase in cyberattacks globally. The information is contained in a recent report titled Cyber Attack Trends: 2021 Mid-Year Report, released by Check Point Software Technologies.
The report aims to uncover how cybercriminals have continued to exploit the Covid-19 pandemic and highlights a dramatic 93% increase in the number of ransomware attacks globally.
Check Point Software Technologies is a company that provides leading cyber-threat intelligence to its customers and the greater intelligence community.
The research team collected and analysed global cyberattack data stored on ThreatCloud to keep hackers at bay. The team consists of more than 100 analysts and researchers co-operating with other security vendors, law enforcement and various CERTs.
The finding included in the report are that Europe, the Middle East and Africa region showed the highest growth, at 36%, followed by the Americas with an increase of 34% and Asia-Pacific 13%.
"This year has also seen a new ‘Triple Extortion’ ransomware technique emerge. While there have been successful international operations targeting cybercrime, such as the take-down of the notorious Emotet botnet, threat actors launched sophisticated attacks which exploited organizations’ supply chains to cause widespread disruption," the report said.
Some of the key trends in the report revealed:
Global increase in cyberattacks: In 2021, US organisations saw an average of 443 weekly attacks, marking a 17% increase compared to earlier this year. In EMEA, the weekly average of attacks per organisation was 777, a 36% increase.
APAC organisations saw 1 338 weekly attacks, a 13% increase. Specifically, within Europe, there was an increase of 27% while Latin America saw an increase of 19%.
The rise of ransomware attacks and “triple extortion”: Globally, the number of ransomware attacks on organisations increased by 93% in H1 2021, compared to the same period last year. Increasingly, in addition to stealing sensitive data from organisations and threatening to release it publicly unless a payment is made, attackers are targeting organisations’ customers and/or business partners and demanding ransom from them too.
Supply chain attacks step up: The well-known SolarWinds supply chain attack stands out in 2021 cybercriminals and influence, but other sophisticated supply chain attacks have occurred such as Codecov in April, and most recently Kaseya.
Predictions for H2 2021: Ransomware will grow, despite law enforcement stepping up. Increased use of penetration tools to give live hackers the ability to customise attacks on the fly and a trend towards collateral damage well beyond the initial target victim calls for a collateral damage strategy.
VP researcher at Check Point Software Maya Horowitz said that in the first half of 2021, cybercriminals had continued to adapt their working practices in order to exploit the shift to hybrid working, targeting organisations’ supply chains and network links to partners in order to achieve maximum disruption.
“This year cyberattacks have continued to break records and we have even seen a huge increase in the number of ransomware attacks, with high-profile incidents such as Solarwinds, Colonial Pipeline, JBS or, Kayesa. Looking ahead, organisations should be aware of the risks and ensure that they have the appropriate solutions in place to prevent, without disrupting the normal business flow, most attacks including the most advanced ones," she said.
The report said the war on ransomware would intensify, ransomware attacks would continue to proliferate despite increased investment from governments and law enforcement.
"With such investment and ever more advanced tools, the authorities will enjoy some successes, but threat actors will evolve, and new groups will emerge in the ransomware arms race," the report said.
In South Africa last week, Transnet was hacked. The cyberattack on Transnet’s computer system paralysed the country’s ports. The ports company declared force majeure following the cyberattack that hit the entire Transnet Group.