Survey finds phishing, malware, ransomware on the rise
Cybercriminals are ramping up their attacks to exploit the fast-moving changes in how enterprises are working – particularly with so many employees working from home – and general concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey by cybersecurity firm Check Point Software.
The Lowdown: The San Carlos, California-based company surveyed 411 security professionals from enterprises with 500 or more employees from around the globe.
The Details: Through its survey, which was released Tuesday, Check Point revealed a number of data points:
> Coronavirus-related attacks escalate: 71% of survey respondents saw an increase in cybersecurity threats or attacks since the beginning of the outbreak.
> Leading threats: The top threat cited was e-mail phishing attempts, at 55%, followed by malicious websites claiming to offer information or advice about the pandemic (32%), malware (28%), and ransomware (19%).
> Remote working challenges: Businesses are facing added IT security challenges due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to 95% of respondents. The top challenges were provisioning secure remote access for employees (56%), the need for scalable remote-access solutions (55%), and employees working from home using shadow IT solutions, including untested software, tools, and services (47%).
> Concerns in the coming months: 61% of security professionals said they’re concerned about the risks associated with quickly making the changes needed to enable a remote workforce. In addition, 55% said remote-access security needs improving and 49% are concerned about the need to scale up endpoint security.
The Impact: Check Point’s findings echo what other security firms and tech companies are finding – that bad actors are looking to exploit the global pandemic to steal data and money. That includes a previous Check Point study that found that coronavirus-related domains are 50% more likely than other domains to be malicious.
The Buzz: “Cybercriminals will always seek to capitalize on the latest trends to try and boost the success rates of attacks, and the coronavirus pandemic has created a perfect storm of a global news event together with dramatic changes in working practices and the technologies used by organizations. This has meant a significant increase in the attack surface of many organizations, which is compromising their security postures,” said Rafi Kretchmer, head of product marketing at Check Point. “To ensure security and business continuity in this rapidly evolving situation, organizations need to protect themselves with a holistic, end-to-end security architecture. This means ensuring accessible and reliable connections between corporate networks and remote devices 24/7, promoting collaboration and productivity between teams, networks, and offices, and deploying robust protection against advanced threats and cybercrime techniques at all points on the enterprise network fabric.”
“While we struggle to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus worldwide, its impact is spreading rapidly across the globe. Countries are shutting their borders and imposing isolation on cities and states, businesses are scaling back their operations, the entertainment world is going into hibernation, and retailers worldwide are closing their doors,” Check Point researchers wrote in the earlier study. “And of course, when the real economy falters, the underground economy springs into action. Hackers around the globe are taking advantage of the COVID-19 outbreak by accelerating their activities to spread their own infections.”