Hyper-convergence, the Internet of things and mobility are accelerating the spread of malware.
These are the findings of the Q1 Fortinet Global Threat Landscape Report released this week. The Fortinet global threat landscape report is a quarterly view of threat events and incidents observed in live production environments around the world from 1 January through to 31 March.
According to the report, mobile malware prevalence rose in every region except the Middle East. “The rate of growth was statistically significant in all cases rather than simply random variation. Compared to some other regional threat comparisons, Android malware appeared to have stronger geographic tendencies,” the report reads.
The report states this might be as a result of just under 10% of organisations that detected activity associated with ransomware. “On any given day, an average of 1.2% dealt with ransomware botnets running somewhere in their environment. The peak days of activity fell on weekends, with the hope of slipping traffic past weekend security operations staff. As the average traffic volume of various ransomware botnets increased, the average number of firms impacted by them rose as well.”
Claude Schuck, regional manager for Africa at Veeam, agrees there is a peak in ransomware, highlighting that money has proven to be the driving force. “The sheer size of the reward available can convince even people with impeccable moral standards to commit a crime. Suddenly there is a reason for rogue employees to take a risk. Those with intimate knowledge of a company’s business processes can purposely target systems containing its most precious data to ensure the organisation must pay significant amounts of money. Combine this with how the development of ransomware has become easier, [and] almost anyone with a computer can infect a company with malware and wait for the ransom pay-out.”
Phil Quade, chief information security officer at Fortinet, adds that when trying to combat ransomware, awareness alone isn’t enough.
“In the past year, highly-publicised cyber security incidents have raised public awareness of how our TVs and phones can be manipulated to deny others Internet availability. Yet, awareness alone isn’t enough. Unfortunately, as organisations increasingly adopt convenience and cost-saving 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. Meanwhile, attackers are buying or re-using tools of their own.
“Cyber security 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.”
A recent white paper released by Juniper, “The Future of Cybercrime & Security: Enterprise Threats & Mitigation 2017-2022“, showed ransomware is becoming a far more advanced form of malware, as ransoming stored data and devices becomes easier and more valuable than stealing financial details.
The report said it expected ransomware to rapidly develop into simple-to-use toolkits, the same way banking Trojans developed into ‘products’ that required little or no programming knowledge to use, adding that cyber crime will cost global business over $8 trillion in the next five years.
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