Cyber attacks against organizations have increased by 29% globally in the past six months, with the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region showing the highest growth, followed by the United States and Asia. Pacific (APAC), according to cybersecurity company Check Point. The number of ransomware attacks against organizations is also said to have increased by 93% per year in the first half of 2021. Compared to some global markets, India appears to be a key target for attackers.
Check Point released its “Cyber Attack Trends: 2021 Mid-Year Report” on Thursday where it highlighted the growth in cyber attacks against organizations in all sectors, including government, healthcare and critical infrastructure.
In the United States, cyber attacks increased 17% to an average of 443 weekly attacks. However, the change in the EMEA region was even larger, as the weekly average of attacks per organization was 777, an increase of 36%. Specifically in Europe, there was an increase of 27 percent, while in Latin America the growth was 19 percent. APAC organizations, meanwhile, experienced 1,338 weekly attacks, up 13% from the start of the year.
The Check Point report also mentions that in India in particular, an organization is attacked an average of 1,738 times per week in the past six months, compared to 757 attacks per organization worldwide. Education and research, government and military, insurance and law, manufacturing and healthcare have been the sectors most affected by attackers over the past six months.
There has also been a slight increase in ransomware attacks. Check Point said that in addition to stealing sensitive data from organizations and threatening to publicly disclose it unless a payment is made, attackers are now targeting the organizations’ customers as well as their business partners and also asking them for a ransom.
Supply chain attacks, including SolarWinds, have increased alongside ransomware attacks this year. Codecov and Kaseya were also among the more recent attacks in the sophisticated supply chain.
Check Point noted that after the removal of the Emotet botnet in January, attackers were exploring other malware options, namely Trickbot, Dridex, Qbot, and IcedID.
“In the first half of 2021, cybercriminals continued to adapt their working practices to exploit the shift to hybrid work, targeting organizations’ supply chains and network links with partners to achieve disruption maximum, ”said Maya Horowitz, vice president. Search at Check Point, in a prepared statement.
The company also predicted that the continued growth of ransomware attacks would continue to escalate. This can happen despite the fact that governments, including the Joe Biden administration in the United States, have made it a priority to limit ransomware targeting. Hackers are expected to evolve and new groups may be formed to stimulate ransomware attacks.
Along with ransomware attacks, Check Point predicted that man-in-the-middle attacks where hackers gain access to compromised networks and personalize attacks will grow. The growth of cyber attacks is also expected to increase collateral damage to affected organizations and requires a special security strategy to stay protected.
The full safety report with additional information is available for download via the Check Point website. You must create an account with the company to download the report.