Threat actors extend attack techniques to new enterprise apps and services

Perception Point announced the publication of a report, “The Rise of Cyber Threats Against Email, Browsers and Emerging Cloud-Based Channels“, which evaluates the responses of security and IT decision-makers at large enterprises and reveals numerous significant findings about today’s enterprise threat landscape.

cyber threats rise

One key takeaway is that organizations are paying a hefty $1,197 per employee each year to address successful cyber incidents across email services, cloud collaboration apps or services, and web browsers, meaning that a 500-employee company spends on average $600,000 on an annual basis. This substantial figure excludes compliance fines, ransomware mitigation costs, and business losses from non-operational processes, all of which can cause costs to climb much higher. Cybersecurity incidents can lead to costly and time-consuming incident response processes that put a strain on an organization’s resources.

The past few years have witnessed the rapid adoption of new cloud collaboration apps, cloud storage and services for employee productivity and external collaboration as organizations across the world have embraced new work patterns. Threat actors have pivoted their attack toolkits to extend beyond email and the web browser to the new apps and services that enterprises have adopted.

Although many of these new tools have only been around for a few years, the report finds that malicious incidents against these new cloud-based apps and services already occur at 60% of the frequency with which they occur on email-based services, with some attacks, like those involving malware installed on an endpoint, occurring on cloud collaboration apps at 87% of the frequency with which they occur on email-based services.

Email cyber threats rise

Additionally, the report highlights that a successful email-based cyber incident takes security staff an average of 86 hours to address. As a result, one security professional, with no support, can only handle 23 email incidents per year, representing a direct cost of $6,452 per incident in time alone.

Incidents that have been detected on cloud collaboration apps or services take on average 71 hours to resolve, meaning that one professional can handle 28 incidents per year at an average cost of $5,305 per incident. Enterprises should be consolidating their security stack for more holistic and efficient threat protection, as well as leveraging managed services to support their security teams with scalable and flexible incident response capabilities.

“The Perception Point-Osterman report supports cybersecurity leaders’ assessments of the expanding threat landscape trends and how they impact companies’ bottom lines,” said Yoram Salinger, CEO of Perception Point.

“The rapid growth of non-email-based threats crucially underscores the need for security teams to keep up with emerging trends, especially as the modern work environment is in flux and the number of cloud-based collaboration tools that organizations rely on is only likely to expand.”

Additional findings

  • More boots on the ground: All organizations plan to deploy at least one new security tool to combat threats over the coming year, and 69% plan to deploy three or more.
  • Forecasting expanded cloud cover: 80% of respondents believe that new channels, including cloud collaboration apps and web browsers, will be “important” or “extremely important” for employee productivity by 2024. This figure is an increase on the 68% who consider these channels “important” or “extremely important” today, and 33% who thought the same two years ago.
  • Increased vulnerability to infiltration: Half of all organizations use six or more different communication and collaboration tools; some 19% use nine. Using such a wide range of tools increases the amount of vectors which attackers can target.
  • Always darkest before the dawn: More than 70% of respondents believe that the frequency of security threats will remain the same or increase over the next two years.
  • They’re only getting smarter: All types of attacks are getting more sophisticated, but this is especially the case for attacks against cloud collaboration apps and services. 72% of respondents indicated that attacks against cloud storage services have grown more sophisticated over the past year, compared to 57% who stated that attacks against email have grown more sophisticated. This trend is especially concerning given the rapid rate of adoption of new cloud-based apps and services.

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