Crime-as-a-service infrastructure fuels growth in attacks

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The majority of cyber threats faced by most organisations are opportunistic threats fuelled by crime-as-a-service infrastructure, according to research from Fortinet.

The security company’s latest Global Threat Landscape report finds that criminals are using modern tools and as-a-service infrastructures to operate on a global scale.

As a result, most threat trends appear more global than regional, with adversaries looking for targets on an international scale.

Although ransomware has been dominating the headlines, the report finds that just under 10% of organisations detected ransomware during the first quarter. But on any given day, an average of 1.2% of organisations dealt with ransomware botnets running somewhere in their environment.

By contrast, 80% of organisations reported high or critical-severity exploits against their systems, with the majority targeting vulnerabilities released in the last five years.

The report also finds that hyperconvergence and the IoT are accelerating the spread of malware on a global scale. Mobile malware prevalence also rose in every region except the Middle East, with about 20% of organisations detecting mobile malware during the quarter.

These issues are being compounded by the fact that visibility and control over distributed and elastic computing infrastructure is diminishing and the number of potential attack vectors is continuing to grow.

This has been triggered by factors including private and public cloud adoption, the growth of the IoT, the growing shadow IT environment and the rising volume of smart devices connecting to the network.

On the bright side, the ratio of HTTPS encrypted traffic to HTTP traffic grew to a high of 55% during the quarter. But the report notes that encrypted traffic presents additional challenges related to threat monitoring and detection, with many security tools having poor visibility into encrypted communications.

“Unfortunately, as organisations increasingly adopt convenience and cost-savings IT techniques, such as cloud services, or add a variety of smart devices to their network, visibility and control of their security is at risk,” Fortinet Senior Director for APAC Jon McGettigan said.

“Meanwhile, attackers are buying or re-using tools of their own. Cybersecurity strategies need to increasingly adopt trustworthy network segmentation and high degrees of automation to prevent and detect adversaries’ efforts to target the newly exposed flanks of our businesses and governments.”

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