Intelligent CIO North America Issue 22 - Page 55

FEATURE : RANSOMWARE
For example , REvil which was responsible for 37 % of all ransomware attacks in 2021 , persisted for four years through rebranding , suggesting the likelihood it resurfaces again despite its takedown by a multigovernment operation in mid-2021 .
While law enforcement takedowns can slow down ransomware attackers , they are also burdening them with the expenses required to fund their rebranding or rebuild their infrastructure .
As the playing field changes , it ’ s important that organizations modernize their infrastructure to place their data in an environment that can help safeguard it – whether that be on-premises or in clouds .
This can help businesses manage , control and protect their workloads and remove threat actors ’ leverage in the event of a compromise by making it harder to access critical data in hybrid cloud environments .
Vulnerabilities become an existential crisis for some
The X-Force report highlights the record high number of vulnerabilities disclosed in 2021 , with vulnerabilities in industrial control systems rising by 50 % year-over-year .
Although more than 146,000 vulnerabilities have been disclosed in the past decade , it ’ s only been in recent years that organizations accelerated their digital journey , largely driven by the pandemic , suggesting that the vulnerability management challenge has yet to reach its peak .
At the same time , vulnerability exploitation as an attack method is growing more popular . X-Force observed a 33 % increase since the previous year , with the two most exploited vulnerabilities observed in 2021 found in widely used enterprise applications ( Microsoft Exchange , Apache Log4J Library ).
Enterprises ’ challenge to manage vulnerabilities may continue to exacerbate as digital infrastructures expand and businesses can grow overwhelmed with audit and upkeep requirements , highlighting the importance of operating on the assumption of compromise and applying a Zero Trust strategy to help protect their architecture .
Attackers target common grounds among clouds
In 2021 , X-Force observed more attackers shifting their targeting to containers like Docker – by far the most dominant container runtime engine according to RedHat . Attackers recognize that containers are common grounds among organizations so they are doubling down on ways to maximize their ROI with malware that can cross platforms and can be used as a jumping off point to other components of their victims ’ infrastructure .
The 2022 report also sounds caution on threat actors ’ continued investment into unique , previously unobserved , Linux malware , with data provided by Intezer revealing a 146 % increase in Linux ransomware that has new code .
As attackers remain steady in their pursuit of ways to scale operations through cloud environments , businesses must focus on extending visibility into their hybrid infrastructure . Hybrid cloud environments that are built on interoperability and open standards can help organizations detect blind spots and accelerate and automate security responses .
Additional findings from the 2022 report include :
• Asia leads attacks – Experiencing over one in four attacks that IBM observed globally in 2021 , Asia saw more cyberattacks than any other region in the past year . Financial services and manufacturing organizations together experienced nearly 60 % of attacks in Asia .
• First time caller , long time phisher – Phishing was the most common cause of cyberattacks in 2021 . In X-Force Red ’ s penetration tests , the click rate in its phishing campaigns tripled when combined with phone calls .
The report features data IBM collected globally in 2021 to deliver insightful information about the global threat landscape and inform security professionals about the threats most relevant to their organizations . p

BUSINESSES SHOULD RECOGNIZE THAT VULNERABILITIES ARE HOLDING THEM IN A DEADLOCK – AS

RANSOMWARE ACTORS USE THAT TO

THEIR ADVANTAGE .

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