Your SonicWall Firewalls do more than just protect your business from attacks. As they keep your information safe, SonicWall is constantly collecting and analyzing trends in cybersecurity. Recently they released their mid-year threat report, here are the highlights:

 

Malware is down and ransomware is on the rise

Malware and ransomware differ in one big way in that ransomware is designed to extort typically for monetary gain. You will know when you have ransomware because they want you to know. Malware on the other hand can be more discreet.

 

Malware is kind of a catch all term. It stands for “malicious software” and typically when it lands on one of your devices, it’s stealing or otherwise corrupting your business data. Since the beginning of the year, Sonicwall says malware attacks have actually dropped around 24%, a trend they say that’s been a continuation of what they’ve seen since the end of 2019. At first glance, that seems great! However, ransomware, software that lands on your device and restricts you from using it until you pay a ransom, has seen a corresponding increase of about 20% during that same time.

Working from home revealed big vulnerabilities

We knew cyber-criminals would be capitalizing on the pandemic, but thanks to SonicWall we have a clearer picture as to how they were attempting to do that.

 

For example, only 7% of phishing attacks over the first 6-months of 2020 were utilizing the COVID-19 pandemic to take advantage of users. Instead, hackers were turning to a tried and true method of invasion, and that’s Microsoft Office documents. With remote work at its peak, users have been sharing files more than ever,  leading to a whopping 176% increase in malicious Microsoft Office files types being used to plant malware.

 

Additionally there was a 50% increase in IoT (Internet of Things) attacks. As people are working from home and likely connected to a less secure home internet connection. IoT is an umbrella term used to describe all of the different devices outside of the standard desktop or laptop that are now sharing data roadways with even our most sensitive information. What else is utilizing that internet connection? Potentially everything from your baby monitor, refrigerators, smart speakers, Amazon Alexa and more. The devices are opening more doors for hackers to walk right into your home, and they are taking advantage of those open entryways.

 

Internet security is more important than ever. If you’re concerned that your organization isn’t locked down tight, reach out to NW Technology to see how your business can be better protected.

 

Visit SonicWall's website for more on this report.