Fortinet, a Sunnyvale, California-based cybersecurity company, has released its semiannual FortiGuard Labs Global Threat Landscape Report. The report demonstrates a significant increase in the volume and sophistication of attacks targeting individuals, organizations, and increasingly critical infrastructure.
The data shows average weekly ransomware activity in June 2021 was more than tenfold higher than levels from one year ago. This demonstrates a consistent and overall steady increase over a year period. Organizations in the telecommunications sector were the most heavily targeted followed by government, managed security service providers, automotive, and manufacturing sectors. In addition, some ransomware operators shifted their strategy away from email-initiated payloads to gaining and selling initial access into corporate networks via Ransomware-as-a-Service.
“We are seeing an increase in effective and destructive cyberattacks affecting thousands of organizations in a single incident creating an important inflection point for the war on cybercrime,” said Derek Manky, chief of Security Insights & Global Threat Alliances at FortiGuard Labs. “Shared data and partnership can enable more effective responses and better predict future techniques to deter adversary efforts. Continued cybersecurity awareness training as well as AI-powered prevention, detection, and response technologies integrated across endpoints, networks, and the cloud remain vital to counter cyber adversaries.”
Among the other key data points, more than one in four organizations detected malvertising or scareware attempts. The document also reports a surge in botnet detections. At the beginning of the year, 35% of organizations detected botnet activity of one sort or another, and six months later it measured 51%.
A key takeaway is that ransomware remains a clear and present danger for all organizations regardless of industry or size. Organizations need to take a proactive approach with real-time endpoint protection, detection, and automated response solutions to secure environments along with a zero-trust access approach, network segmentation, and encryption.