SonicWall has released its 2023 Cyber Threat Report, detailing an increasingly diversified cyberattack landscape amid shifting threat actor strategies. The Milpitas, California-based company recorded the second-highest year on record for global ransomware attempts, as well as an 87% increase in Internet of Things (IoT) malware and a record number of cryptojacking attacks (139.3 million) in 2022.
“The past year reinforced the need for cybersecurity in every industry and every facet of business, as threat actors targeted anything and everything, from education to retail to finance,” said SonicWall President and CEO Bob VanKirk. “While organizations face an increasing number of real-world obstacles with macroeconomic pressures and continued geopolitical strife, threat actors are shifting attack strategies at an alarming rate.”
According to the report, global malware volume increased 2% year-over-year, but it was jumps in IoT malware (+87%) and cryptojacking (+43%) that offset the decline of overall global ransomware volume (-21%), signifying a strategic shift. Threat actors have embraced slower and more stealthy approaches to achieve financially motivated cyberattacks.
Threat actors are showing clear preferences for certain techniques, with notable shifts toward weak IoT devices, cryptojacking and potentially soft targets like schools and hospitals.
Prominent ransomware attacks impacted enterprises, governments, airlines, hospitals, hotels and even individuals causing widespread system downtime, economic loss, and reputational damage. Following global trends, several industries faced large year-over-year increases of ransomware volume, including education (+275%), finance (+41%) and healthcare (+8%).
While ransomware continues to be a threat, SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers expect more state-sponsored activity targeting a broader set of victims in 2023, including SMBs and enterprises.
SonicWall threat researchers gather, analyze and vet cross-vector threat information from the SonicWall Capture Threat network, consisting of global devices and resources, including more than 1 million security sensors in nearly 215 countries and territories.
Cyberattacks are an ever-present danger for companies of all sizes, putting their operations and reputation on the line. Channel partners play a key role in helping customers to understand attackers’ tactics, techniques, and procedures, and develop strategies to defend and mitigate.