Ransomware dominates the threat landscape

Acronis researchers have concluded that ransomware continues to be the number one threat to large and medium-sized businesses, including government organizations. Nearly half of all reported breaches during the first half of 2022 involved stolen credentials, which enable phishing and ransomware campaigns. Findings underscore the need for more holistic approaches to cybersecurity.

ransomware threat landscape

To extract credentials and other sensitive information, cybercriminals use phishing and malicious emails as their preferred infection vectors. Nearly one percent of all emails contain malicious links or files, and more than one-quarter (26.5%) of all emails were delivered to the users inbox (not blocked by Microsoft365) and then were removed by Acronis email security.

Moreover, the research reveals how cybercriminals also use malware and target unpatched software vulnerabilities to extract data and hold organizations hostage. Further complicating the cybersecurity threat landscape is the proliferation of attacks on non-traditional entry avenues. Attackers have made cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance systems a priority of late. Successful breaches using these various routes have resulted in the loss of billions of dollars and terabytes of exposed data.

“Today’s cyberthreats are constantly evolving and evading traditional security measures,” said Candid Wüest, Acronis VP of Cyber Protection Research. “Organizations of all sizes need a holistic approach to cybersecurity that integrates everything from anti-malware to email-security and vulnerability-assessment capabilities. Cybercriminals are becoming too sophisticated and the results of attacks too dire to leave it to single-layered approaches and point solutions.”

Critical data points reveal complex threat landscape

As reliance on the cloud increases, attackers have homed in on different entryways to cloud-based networks. Cybercriminals increased their focus on Linux operating systems and MSPs and their network of SMB customers. The threat landscape is shifting, and companies must keep pace.

Ransomware is worsening, even more so than we predicted.

  • Ransomware gangs, like Conti and Lapsus$, are inflicting serious damage.
  • The Conti gang demanded $10 million in ransom from the Costa Rican government and has published much of the 672 GB of data it stole.
  • Lapsus$ stole 1 TB of data and leaked credentials of over 70,000 NVIDIA users. The same gang also stole 30 GB worth of T-Mobile’s source code.
  • The U.S. Department of State is concerned, offering up to $15 million for information about the leadership and co-conspirators of Conti.

The use of phishing, malicious emails and websites, and malware continues to grow.

  • Six hundred malicious email campaigns made their way across the internet in the first half of 2022.
  • 58% of the emails were phishing attempts.
  • Another 28% of those emails featured malware.
  • The business world is increasingly distributed, and in Q2 2022, an average of 8.3% of endpoints tried to access malicious URLs.

More cybercriminals are focusing on cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms. By exploiting flaws in smart contracts or stealing recovery phrases and passwords with malware or phishing attempts, hackers have wormed their way into crypto wallets and exchanges alike.

  • Cyberattacks have contributed to a loss of more than $60 billion in DeFi currency since 2012.
  • $44 billion of that vanished during the last 12 months.

Unpatched vulnerabilities of exposed services is another common infection vector—just ask Kaseya. To that end, companies like Microsoft, Google, and Adobe have emphasized software patches and transparency around publicly submitted vulnerabilities. These patches likely helped stem the tide of 79 new exploits each month.

Breaches leave distress in their wake

Cybercriminals often demand ransoms or outright steal funds from their targets. But companies do not suffer challenges only to their bottom lines. Attacks often cause downtime and other service-level breaches, impacting a company’s reputation and customer experience.

  • In 2021 alone, the FBI attributed a total loss of $2.4 billion to business email compromise.
  • Cyberattacks caused 36% of downtime in 2021.

The current cybersecurity threat landscape requires a multi-layered solution that combines anti- malware, EDR, DLP, email security, vulnerability assessment, patch management, RMM, and backup capabilities all in one place. The integration of these various components gives companies a better chance of avoiding cyberattacks, mitigating the damage of successful attacks, and retaining data that might have been altered or stolen in the process.




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