SonicWall, a Milpitas, California-based security vendor, says more than 7 billion malware attacks were launched during the first three quarters of 2019, as well as nearly 152 million ransomware attacks. That’s according to the company’s latest threat data analysis, which also points to a 33% increase in IoT malware, a 58% increase in encrypted threats, and a 37% increase in web app attacks.
Meanwhile, malware volume has actually dropped 15% year-over-year, and ransomware attacks have declined 5%. SonicWall says that while attacks may be trending down currently, the number of attacks is still very high and more nefarious than ever, even evading traditional sandbox technology.
“When we observe how ransomware spreads, we also identify that ransomware tactics have changed,” said SonicWall president and CEO Bill Conner. “Historically, the goal for most malware authors was quantity of infections and now we’re seeing attackers focus on fewer higher-value targets where they can spread laterally. This shift in tactics has also seen a corresponding rise in the ransom demands, as attackers attempt to make more money from fewer, but higher value, targets like local municipalities and hospitals.”
Phishing attacks are following suit with ransomware and malware, and are also trending down globally with a year-to-date decrease of 32%. Similar to ransomware, the attacks are being more targeted towards c-suite executives, HR personnel and IT leaders.
“What the data shows is that cybercriminals are becoming more nuanced, more targeted and savvier in their attacks,” added Connor. “We recommend that companies deploy a unified and layered security approach that provides real-time protection across all networks so that they don’t find themselves front page news for a data breach.”
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.
While it’s nice to see some cyberattack data trending downwards, the SonicWall announcement underscores the need for channel partners to be vigilant in the defense of their customers’ data.