When it comes to the global cyber landscape, this year seems to have picked up where the previous year left off. 2017 has proved to be a lucrative year for cybercrime and is shedding light on a new trend – simple, yet highly effective malware families are causing rapid destruction globally. Massive attack campaigns, including the WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware, have definitely left their mark and entered the global ranks as well.
The percentage of ransomware attacks in Europe almost doubled in the first half of 2017 compared to the first half of 2016. Additionally, we have seen a massive increase of mobile attacks, due to the perfect storm of circumstances. Traditionally mobile devices have been less protected than desktops, leaving a perfect opening for cybercriminals to attack mobile devices through malicious apps, emails or hacked Wi-Fi spots. It takes only one breached mobile device in an enterprise for cybercriminals to steal personal and business data, and access corporate networks.
It is now apparent that anyone or any organization is a target for cyber criminals. Attacks continue to grow at an alarming rate – in volume, sophistication and impact. Attackers use many malicious tricks to penetrate organizations – through email, web browsing, mobile apps, exploiting unpatched vulnerabilities in online hosts and more. Today’s enterprise must protect more remote workers, multiple sites, more cloud-based applications and more devices.
The number of network entry points requiring protection continues to rise. As of May 2017, Check Point products are detecting over 17 million attacks each week, more than half of these attacks include payloads which are unknown at the time of detection and cannot be detected by conventional signature-based technology. Using unknown malware in an attack increases the likelihood of success for cybercriminals. Moreover, creating unknown malware is easier than ever – even a slight modification to existing malware creates new unknown variant. With nearly 12 million new malware variants being discovered every month, more new malware has been discovered in the past two years than in the previous 29 years combined. .
For protection against today’s attacks, the emphasis must be on speed and prevention. In response to the many recent outbreaks, organizations are implementing point solutions to protect their separate IT environments; however, many of these solutions focus on detection and mitigation rather than prevention. This reactive approach to cyber attacks can be costly and ineffective, complicates security operations and creates inherent gaps in security posture. Enterprises need a more complete architecture that scales with dynamic business demands and focused on prevention to ensure all IT environments are protected. What I just described is Check Point Infinity, the only fully-consolidated cyber security architecture that future- proofs your business and IT infrastructure across all networks, cloud and mobile. The architecture is designed to resolve the complexities of growing connectivity and inefficient security
It’s evident cybercriminals aren’t slowing down. In fact, based on the 2017 data to date, and analysis of WannaCry and NotPetya, the latest trends show malware being reconfigured to be far more effective at spreading laterally throughout organizations to rapidly cause large scale damage. Yes, even these types of sophisticated attacks could have been prevented had enterprises utilized solutions and techniques available to them today, such as proper network segmentation, threat emulation, threat extraction and endpoint security.
Falling victim to cyber attacks is a fate which can be avoided in most cases. The next attack can and should be prevented!
Country Manager, Finland & Baltics
Check Point Software Technologies