2020 was a historic year for the way we worked. Organisations had to close their offices, employers had to learn to be more flexible and employees had to figure out how to work from home. The rapid change in the way we worked left ample opportunities for cybercriminals. The SonicWall Cyber Threat Report 2021 documents the trends in cybercrime during 2020 and its findings can help an organisation create appropriate strategies to defend itself in the new working normal.
2020 – The Tipping Point
Cybersecurity is always changing, each year brings with it new threats and changes to cybercriminal tactics, but few years have ever brought along the changes that were seen in 2020.
“2020 offered a perfect storm for cybercriminals and a critical tipping point for the cyber arms race,” SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner
The Covid-19 pandemic forced organisations to completely change the way they work in a relatively short time that left most organisations ill-equipped to effectively plan for how work would continue from home. This left cyber criminals in an opportunistic position, with the ability to launch attacks on employees when they were at their most vulnerable.
During a turbulent year, our partners over at SonicWall have been tracking the shifting threat landscape and compiled all the trends in this years’ Cyber Threat Report.
Cyber Threat Report 2021 – Key Findings
IoT Attacks On The Increase
With the reliance on remote working, cybercriminals seized the opportunity to launch attacks on remote workers and their personal devices. The number of attacks increased by 66% compared to 2019.
‘Never Before Seen’ Malware On The Rise
SonicWall’s Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection technology discovered 268,362 malware variants. A 74% YoY increase. Attackers changed their tactics and employed new ways to target organisations and individuals, unfortunately this was mainly targeted at the vulnerable who were unprepared to protect themselves.
Ransomware Sets New Record
Homeworking has connected more devices to workplace networks, such as WiFi routers, personal laptops as well as other devices. Suddenly these new devices were now accessible to attackers, and this together with a record high value of Bitcoin produced more ransomware attacks. SonicWall recorded a 62% YoY increase in the volume of ransomware attempts.
Malware Attacks Down 43%
Though attacks fell significantly, the report shows that this decrease was balanced by record-high growth in other areas of cybercrime.
Office 365 Files Preferred By Criminals
By the end of 2020, the report shows the use of malicious Office 365 document files had grown by 67%, roughly 1 in 4. This is most likely due to the remote working situation forced on many organisations due to the pandemic. By the fall of 2020, Microsoft reported that its active commercial Office 365 users had grown to over 200 million. It’s no surprise to see that criminals chose Office 365 document files as their intrusion vector.
Join Us For The Webinar: Fri 23rd April
You can find out much more about the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report in our upcoming webinar event.
Click here to register and save your seat.
You can also read the full report by downloading it here.
About Datasharp Integrated Communications
Datasharp Integrated Communications is an award-winning, leading provider of Unified Communications & collaboration solutions including voice, data, mobile, video, network security and contact centre technology for businesses of 50 – 5,000 staff.
We are a premier member of the Datasharp Group – established in 1980 – one of the longest-standing and most respected communications solution providers in the UK.
We have clients across the south of England and in Europe and our own, on-premises, 1,000 ft² Technology Suite at our Bath office, where we host regular events and showcase technology solutions for our clients. Contact us for your free comms audit or product demo.
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