2017 saw a worrying increase in ransomware and other cyberattacks targeting the supply chain, with the business and professional services sector receiving a significant increase of attacks, particularly in the EMEA region, which saw 20 percent of all attacks targeting this sector. This is according to Dimension Data that published its Executive Guide to the NTT Security 2018 Global Threat Intelligence Report.
The businesses and professional services sector received 10 percent of global ransomware attacks, the third most targeted industry (up from sixth position in 2016), behind finance and technology. It also ranked third in the Americas (9 percent) and was the most vulnerable sector in EMEA, receiving 20 percent of all attacks.
As ransomware-related outsourced incident response engagements against financial institutions declined (a drop from 22 percent in 2016 to 5 percent last year), the business and professional services supply chain has clearly become a prime target for trade secrets and intellectual property theft, potentially exposing customer and business partner data.
Despite the drop in outsourced incident response engagements, the finance sector remains the number one target for cyber criminals who carry out regular reconnaissance to spot potential infrastructure and application vulnerabilities.
Murtaza Bhatia, national business head, Cybersecurity, Dimension Data India said, “In India too, there are numerous moving parts to supply chains and outsourcing companies, which often run on disparate and out-dated network infrastructures, making them easy prey to cyber threat actors. Service providers and outsourcers are also a prime target, due to their trade secrets and intellectual property. Businesses need to wise-up to the very real threats against them, and ensure all aspects of their operations are robustly and securely protected.”
Technology was the second most cyber-attacked industry in 2017, with a 19 percent attack volume, with business and professional services moving to third place. Interestingly, attacks on the government sector last year dropped to 5 percent from 9 percent in 2016.
In 2017, there was a massive 350 percent rise in ransomware, representing 7 percent of all global malware attacks (up from 1 percent in 2016), and is set to continue due to the popularity of cyber adversary campaigns.
Other highlights in the NTT Security 2018 Global Threat Intelligence Report include:
• The technology and finance sectors account for 70 percent of all attacks in the Americas. The US is a world leader in technology innovation while the finance sector collects and stores a vast amount of personal data which cyber criminals can monetise
• Education was the most attacked sector in Australia (26 percent). With an open network model and collaborative environments that enable connectivity and research between students, campuses, colleges, and universities, this is a valuable target.
• Attacks on the APAC manufacturing sector have dropped to a mere 7 percent (32 percent in 2016), because of the adoption of enhanced security governance and proactivity in raising cyber defenses.
• Attacks against the finance sector decreased from 46 percent in 2016 to 26 percent in 2017, but it remained the most attacked sector in APAC. This was caused by service-specific attacks.
• Increased attacks against education doubled: from 9 percent in 2016 to 18 percent in 2017.
• China was the top attack source for manufacturing cyber-incidents, accounting for 67 percent of hostile activities targeting the sector in EMEA.