Editor’s brief: Cybersecurity is all the talk, especially during the endemic season. We need to keep cybersecurity not just as a “by the way” afterthought, but more as a constant practice that is honed to keep abreast of changes, trends, technologies, and threats. As emerging threats escalate, there is more than just a “month” to keep this critical practice going. What then, can Check Point Software share in its recent studies? Read more below.
SINGAPORE – Check Point Research (CPR), the Threat Intelligence arm of Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), a leading provider of cyber security solutions globally, today reports that as we enter Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October, globally, there are 40% more attacks weekly on organisations in 2021 compared to 2020.
Globally, after a slight decrease in the weeks before March 2020, there was a significant increase in the average weekly number of attacks on each organisation over the months from March 2020 through 2021. In September 2021, the average weekly number of attacks on each organisation globally reached its peak with over 870 attacks. This is more than double the number of attacks in March 2020.
APAC is the second most targeted region for cyberattacks with an average of 1,299 weekly attacks per organisation, after Africa with an average of 1,615 weekly attacks per organisation. Europe and North America faced the biggest increases in cyberattacks between 2020 and 2021. Organisations in Africa experienced the highest volume of attacks so far in 2021, a 15% increase from last year. This is followed by APAC (20% increase), followed by Latin America with an average of 1,117 attacks weekly (37% increase), Europe with 665 (65% increase) and North America with 497 (57% increase).
In Southeast Asia, Indonesia is seeing the highest number of attacks in terms of volume, with an average of 2,981 weekly attacks per organisation in 2021, a 15% increase from 2020. That is followed by Thailand at 1,686 (28% increase), Vietnam at 1,486 (8% decrease), Philippines at 1,391 (35% increase), Malaysia at 960 (4% decrease), and finally Singapore at an average of 953 weekly attacks per organisation. Though Singapore’s attack by volume is the lowest in Southeast Asia, it is seeing a whooping 106% increase as compared to the average in 2020.
The sectors which are experiencing the highest volumes of cyberattacks are Education/Research with an average of 1,468 attacks per organisation each week (increase of 60% from 2020), followed by Government/Military with 1,082 (40% increase) and Healthcare with 752 (55% increase).
Ransomware continues to plague organisations across the world
In addition, CPR observed that globally in 2021, on average, 1 out of every 61 organisations is impacted by ransomware each week – a 9% increase compared to 2020. The ISP/MSP sector is the industry most attacked by ransomware this year. The average weekly number of impacted organisations in this sector in 2021 is 1 out of 36 (32% increase from 2020). Healthcare is in second place with 1 out of 44 organisations having been impacted (39% increase) followed by software vendors in third place with 1 out of 52 organisations (21% increase).
APAC is seeing the highest volume of attack attempts by ransomware with 1 out of 34 organisations being impacted every week in 2021. This is a 10% decrease compared to 2020. This is followed by Africa with 1 out of 48 organisations being impacted (7% decrease) and Latin America with 1 out of 57 organisations (6% increase).
“October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and a time for everyone to be reminded about the role they play in ensuring cybersecurity, both locally and across the world,” said Omer Dembinsky, Data Research Group Manager, Threat Intelligence and Research Organisation, Check Point Software Technologies. “Since the outbreak of the pandemic globally, cyber criminals have sprung into action to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them. With the continued rise in cyberattacks, Check Point Software recommends that organisations adopt a preventive approach to cybersecurity, rather than work on remediation after the fact when damage has been inflicted.”
The malware type which has impacted organisations the most is the botnet with an average of over 8% organisations being impacted weekly (a 9% decrease from 2020). This is followed by banking malware at 4.6% (a 26% increase) and cryptominers at 4.2% (a 22% decrease).
The data used in this report was detected by Check Point Software’s Threat Prevention technologies, stored and analysed in Check Point ThreatCloud. ThreatCloud provides real-time threat intelligence derived from hundreds of millions of sensors worldwide, over networks, endpoints and mobiles. The intelligence is enriched with AI-based engines and exclusive research data from Check Point Research – The intelligence & research arm of Check Point Software Technologies.