Monday Morning Impact – August 14

Published On: August 12, 2023Categories: Buzz

SonicWall Report: Cryptojacking Soars as Cyberattacks Increase

SonicWall, a Milpitas, California-based cybersecurity company, has released its Mid-Year Cyber Threat Report, tracking tactical behaviors from digital threat actors.

According to the report, overall intrusion attempts were up, led by the highest year on record for global cryptojacking volume recorded by SonicWall, as threat actors shifted away from traditional ransomware attacks in favor of a stealthier means of malicious activities. The data suggests increased law enforcement activity, heavy sanctions, and victims’ refusal to pay ransom demands have altered criminal conduct, and threat actors are targeting other means of revenue.

Cybercriminals are diversifying and expanding their skill sets to attack critical infrastructure, making the threat landscape even more complex and forcing organizations to reconsider their security needs. Despite the decline in global ransomware attempts (-41%), a variety of other attacks have trended up globally, including cryptojacking (+399%), IoT malware (+37%) and encrypted threats (+22%).

“SonicWall intelligence suggests that bad actors are pivoting to lower-cost, less risky attack methods with potentially high returns, like cryptojacking,” said SonicWall Vice President of Product Security Bobby Cornwell. “It also explains the reason we’re seeing higher levels of cybercrime in regions like Latin America and Asia. Hackers search for the weakest points of entry, with the lightest possible repercussions, limiting their risk and maximizing their potential profits.”

Prominent attacks continued to plague enterprises, cities, airlines, and even K-12 schools, causing widespread system downtime, economic loss, and reputational damage. While several industries followed the global trend of ransomware volume decline, they saw a huge growth in cryptojacking attacks: education (+320X), government (+89X) and healthcare (+69X).

According to the report, total global malware volume dipped slightly (-2%), in the first half of 2023, with the U.S. and U.K. logging the biggest dips – (-14%) and (-7%) respectively. Malware numbers climbed in every other tracked region. Europe saw an (+11%) increase, while Latin America malware jumped (+19%) – suggesting a geo-migration of threat actor behavior as they move from targeting traditional hotspots to more opportunistic locations.

Although overall ransomware numbers saw a 41% decline globally, Q2 suggests a potential rebound, as it spiked 73.7% when compared to Q1. Some countries still felt the sting of ransomware attacks as Germany increased (+52%) and India spiked a whopping (+133%).

Despite a dip in never-before-seen malware variants, the threat landscape remains complex, with almost 1,000 strains of new variants discovered each day.

Channel Impact®
The data indicates that cybercriminals are more opportunistic than ever, targeting schools, state and local governments, and retail organizations at unprecedented rates. Channel partners should be aware of this expansion as they plan security strategies for their clients.

Informa Tech to Acquire Canalys, a Channel and Mobility Research and Events Firm

Informa Tech, a prominent business technology publisher and events company announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Canalys, a previously independent market research and events company focused on channels and mobility.

Across its portfolio of more than 100 brands, Informa Tech claims more than 400 research analysts and consultants in global research group Omdia, and a monthly audience reach of over 125 million. Omdia is a technology research and advisory group that was formed in 2019 with the combination of Informa Tech’s research brands (Ovum, Heavy Reading, and Tractica) and the acquired IHS Markit technology research portfolio.

The acquisition will see Informa Tech further expand its Omdia research capabilities into the channel, as well as in the technologies surrounding consumer and business devices.

“Over 70% of all business technology is sold via the Channel and this is why it is of huge importance to our customers,” said Gary Nugent, CEO of Informa Tech. “Our mission with our research group Omdia is to connect the dots for our customers across the technology landscape and Canalys brings leading insight into channel and mobility markets on a global scale while enabling us to strengthen our presence in Asia. We also have the opportunity to accelerate global networking opportunities for our customers in channel by combining Canalys events with our leading events brand Channel Partners.”

“We are excited to join forces with Informa Tech and its leading research, events and media portfolio,” said Canalys CEO, Steve Brazier. “At Canalys we have lived and breathed channel and mobility for 25 years while growing into other spaces such as Automotive. Now by combining with Informa Tech, and specifically leading brands Omdia, Channel Partners and Channel Futures, we have the platform to offer our clients even greater breadth and depth of expertise on a global scale.”

The acquisition of Canalys is expected to close in Q3 2023. Terms were not disclosed.

Channel Impact®
The acquisition is expected to expand the combined company’s reach and capability as it strives to gain ground against higher profile competitors.

ServiceNow, NVIDIA, and Accenture Team to Accelerate Enterprise Adoption for Generative AI

ServiceNow, NVIDIA, and Accenture have launched “AI Lighthouse,” a new program designed to fast-track the development, adoption, and implementation of enterprise generative AI capabilities.

The initiative unites the ServiceNow enterprise automation platform and engine, NVIDIA AI supercomputing and software, and Accenture consulting and deployment services into a combined offering to support the development of custom generative AI large language models and applications to advance their businesses.

“Industries are racing to add generative AI tools to their operations at a faster pace than in any previous technology shift,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO, NVIDIA. “NVIDIA, ServiceNow, and Accenture are partnering to help customers lead their industries by deploying generative AI tools that harness their own invaluable knowledge to transform the applications they use every day.”

The AI Lighthouse program is expected to reduce tedious manual work for customer service professionals, promote self-service options, generate content automatically, and boost developer productivity with intelligent recommendations for code.

ServiceNow has previously launched a slate of generative AI capabilities, purpose-built for the Now Platform, and engaged with large pharmaceutical, financial services, manufacturing, and health care companies to test them in enterprise environments. ServiceNow will be the front-end workflow automation and intelligence platform. NVIDIA’s DGX AI supercomputing, DGX Cloud, and NeMo LLM software will provide full-stack computing for model training and tuning. Accenture will leverage its expertise in generative AI strategy, design, and delivery.

Channel Impact®
Generative AI can help enterprises reinvent how they work, strengthen their services, differentiate themselves, and reach new levels of performance. The partnership is expected to enable the three companies to apply their combined experience, expertise, and insights to further the market, while bolstering channel opportunities.

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