Cyber attacks increased 50 percent and organizations are in great danger

2021 was a busy year for cybercriminals and organizations rebuilding their operations after attacks

Cyber incidents significantly increasedCompanies and organizations remain one of the biggest targets of threat actors

2021 went out with a bang when a Log4Shell vulnerability led to millions of cyberattacks. During its peak, as many as 1.8 million attacks against corporations happened, and at least 70 distinct malware families had been launched to exploit the bugs. This threatening situation led to a global record: a peak of 925 cyberattacks a week per organization, but there has been an upwards trend in the number of cyber-attacks throughout the whole 2021 time period.[1]

Overall in 2021, there was a 50% increase in attacks per week on corporate networks compared to 2020. It should not come as a huge surprise. In 2021 we saw more than several high-level cyberattacks. Colonial Pipeline, Brenntag, Acer, and KASEYA are just a few of the prime examples.[2] It is reported that 1 out of every 61 organizations worldwide was impacted by ransomware each week.

Check Point researchers state that among the most popular targets in 2021 were the education and research sector. This area experienced an average of about 1,605 attacks per organization every week and saw an increase from 2020. The government and military sectors were important targets as well and had 1,136 attacks per week, with a 47% increase from 2020. The communications industry takes third place and had 1,079 attacks weekly per organization, with a 51% increase.

For crime actors, geography matters

When it comes to crime actors choosing the organizations for a potential target, geographical location matters. According to the most recent data, Africa experienced the highest volume of attacks in 2021. During one week, this continent experienced an average of 1,582 attacks per organization. This represents a 13% increase from 2020. Africa is a common target for cybercriminals due to its novel approach to cyber threats.

APAC (Asia and Pacific Countries) comes in second place with 1,353 weekly attacks per organization and a 25% increase from the previous year.[3] Latin America comes third with 1,118, Europe with 670, and North America with an average of 503 weekly attacks per organization. More or less, each country and continent could be fallen under criminal schemes and tactics.

Due to that reason, proper preparation is a must. Among the most common cyber threats is not only hacking but data and even identity thefts, malicious software intrusions, phishing, cyberstalking, and way more. As crime actors are becoming more sophisticated, so does various IT security programs.[4] However, first and foremost, users and companies' employees should educate themselves on the basic matters of cyber safety.

Organizations do not see the need to protect themselves in advance

A significant amount of cyberattacks have serious consequences, impacts organizations' existence, and cause disruptions for users. Yet, organizations seem to lack a proper framework that could help them to respond quickly when in need and in some cases, even avoid disclosing information about the suffered breach. In some cases, companies' insurance and attorney-client privilege get in the way of full transparency.[5]

In recent cases with the biggest companies in the world, lawyers tend to be involved in any communication that companies release with regards to a breach. Because of that, some information could be withheld. Information on the breach assessment, which organizations might be required to carry out, or even details on possible payout are usually kept in secret. With this in mind, the public never knows the true scale of the attack.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

Ugnius Kiguolis is a professional malware analyst who is also the founder and the owner of 2-Spyware. At the moment, he takes over as Editor-in-chief.

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