executive summary of 2020 data breaches

Ransomware Trends – A Summary of 2020 Attacks

SonicWall’s Report on Rising Attacks

Our team recently hosted a webinar with our partners at SonicWall – an organization that develops technology to help keep networks safe. We trust SonicWall to help protect our clients’ networks. Their technology is designed to scrutinize anything coming in or going out of business networks, as well as identifying threats before they can cause massive harm. They recently released an executive summary of their 2020 findings, and we wanted to boil it down to the basics.

Malware attacks dropping to the lowest point since 2019

Malware at all time lowWhen threat data noted a 6% decline in malware at the end of 2014, it was unclear whether this was a temporary blip or the start of a greater trend. With the release of the 2020 threat data, we have our answer. Not only has malware continued to fall, it’s dropped with remarkable consistency across every region. Researchers recorded 5.6 billion malware attacks in 2020, a decrease of 43% over 2019’s totals.

Internet of Things (IoT) malware up 66%

IoT imageConnected devices are becoming increasingly popular. These include anything that is attached to people’s Wi-Fi networks. With many people heading home to work amid the 2019 pandemic, these devices became increasingly compromised. SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers recorded a 66% increase in these attacks in 2020, including a 152% increase in North America.

Ransomware is at a record high

Ransomware hits highRansomware skyrocketed in 2020, showing a 62% increase from 2019. This increase coincides with a high-water mark in the price of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency of choice for ransomware groups. As many organizations began implementing a remote work policy or a hybrid workforce, many saw an increase in network vulnerability. Over the past year, this has been exploited by malicious hackers in order to get a potentially large payout.

SonicWall identification faster than ever

Faster Indentification

Speed and accuracy are essential to identifying and mitigating new malware. In order to deal with potential attacks, you need to know how/what was compromised within your network. SonicWall is identifying never-before-seen malware variants a full day before VirusTotal receives samples — sometimes as many as 60 days.

With many organizations still wondering how long their employees may be out of office, the threat of malware and ransomware compromising your network is real. While employees are working in more vulnerable environments, we should expect that attackers will continue to breach business networks. While some industries are targeted more than others, all business owners should be vigilant and addressing network weaknesses proactively.

If you are interested in viewing our recent webinar, where we discuss their Q1 findings, you can request the recording here.