Monday Morning Impact – February 17

Published On: February 17, 2020Categories: Buzz, Uncategorized

2020 SonicWall Threat Report:  Threat Actors Pivot Towards Increasingly Targeted Attacks

SonicWall, a Milpitas, California-based IT security vendor, has announced its annual threat report findings with a mixture of good news and not-so-good news.

‘Spray-and-pray’ tactics that once had malware attack numbers soaring have since been abandoned for more targeted and evasive methods aimed at weaker victims. SonicWall recorded 9.9 billion malware attacks, a six percent year-over-year decrease.

While total ransomware volume (187.9 million) dipped nine percent for the year, highly targeted attacks left many state, provincial and local governments paralyzed and took down email communications, websites, telephone lines and even dispatch services.

Meanwhile, bad actors continue to deploy ransomware on ordinary devices, such as smart TVs, electric scooters and smart speakers, to daily necessities like toothbrushes, refrigerators and doorbells. SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers discovered a moderate five percent increase in IoT malware, with a total volume of 34.3 million attacks in 2019.

The volatile shifts and swings of the cryptocurrency market had a direct impact on threat actors’ interest to author cryptojacking malware. The dissolution of Coinhive in March 2019 played a major role in the threat vector’s decline, plunging the volume of cryptojacking hits to 78 percent in the second half of the year.

Cybercriminals also used new code obfuscation, sandbox detection and bypass techniques, resulting in a multitude of variants and the development of newer and more sophisticated exploit kits using fileless attacks instead of traditional payloads to a disk. While malware decreased 6 percent globally, SonicWall observed that most new threats masked their exploits within today’s most trusted files.

“Cybercriminals are honing their ability to design, author and deploy stealth-like attacks with increasing precision, while growing their capabilities to evade detection by sandbox technology,” said SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner. “Now more than ever, it’s imperative that organizations detect and respond quickly, or run the risk of having to negotiate what’s being held at ransom from criminals so embolden they’re now negotiating the terms.”

The 2020 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report is the result of threat intelligence collected over the course of 2019 by over 1.1 million sensors strategically placed in over 215 countries and territories.

Channel Impact®
The data demonstrate the continued need for channel partners to build solid security practices, either leveraging their internal expertise, or in partnership with specialized partners.

Avaya and RingCentral Introduce UCaaS Platform

Avaya and RingCentral have formally rolled out “Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral.”  The unified communications offering is based on the recent strategic partnership with RingCentral announced in October 2019. The offering combines RingCentral’s unified communications as a service (UCaaS) platform with Avaya phones, services and migration capabilities. Features include telephony, team messaging, video conferencing, file sharing and collaboration.

Built on RingCentral’s open platform with over 200 pre-built business solution integrations, users will likely be able to integrate their current tool sets. Available integrations include Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Zendesk and Google G-Suite.

“With Avaya Cloud Office, users can transform business communications and collaboration via the cloud at a pace that is right for them, simplify communications, easily scale as needed, and receive industry-leading security and support from a trusted partner,” said Dennis Kozak, SVP Business Transformation, Avaya. “In addition, we are planning to train and certify partners and agents to be able to sell this solution so that it can reach customers as quickly as possible.”

General Availability is expected in the spring.

Channel Impact®
Avaya predicts that this solution will be the answer to the growing demand for UCaaS by its base of more than 100,000 customers in more than 180 countries. The alliance, and its related product offering, is expected to ensure a smoother, more cost-effective migration path to a public cloud communications solution.

Frost & Sullivan Report: Unified Communications-as-a-Service on the Rise

In a move that might foretell the downfall of the legacy PBX, market researcher Frost & Sullivan has released a report predicting that global UCaaS users will increase at a CAGR of 22.5 percent from 2018 until 2025.

The report, sponsored by Fuze, suggests that UCaaS continues to be the leading choice for organizations replacing their legacy, premises-based systems.

“In order to compete in the rapidly evolving digital economy, organizations need sophisticated and differentiated capabilities enabled by cloudbased solutions, such as UCaaS,” said Jed Brown, SVP of Product at Fuze. “To maximize the impact of their investment, forward-thinking enterprises are identifying UCaaS solutions that are uniquely designed to meet their specific requirements in support of improving employee engagement, productivity, and customer experience.”

When selecting a UCaaS provider, organizations surveyed in the report cited reliability and security among their top decision-making factors.

“As an organization that is committed to helping business leaders prepare for the next wave of disruptive technologies, we see cloud-based communications as a critical strategic requirement for remaining competitive,” said Elka Popova, vice president and senior fellow of digital transformation at Frost & Sullivan.

Channel Impact®
This report provides comprehensive recommendations to help organizations optimize their UCaaS experience and ultimately select the technology best suited to their needs.

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