Cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated, says new PandaLabs report

Research from the latest PandaLabs report raises further concerns that the methods of attack used by cyber criminals are becoming more professional. Cyber criminals no longer perform attacks just for notoriety, but instead pick targets with the intention of gaining money or valuable data.

The report credits the rise in cyber-attacks this year to:

  • An increase in the number of attacks
  • More sophisticated threats and new attack vectors
  • More complex IT environments, with an overpopulation of devices, systems and connections
  • The inability of antivirus software to keep up with the evolving nature of cyber crime

Ransomware is on the rise

The report highlights cyber crime’s growing professionalism, marked in particular by the rise of cyber attacks as a service. Criminals are not only profiting from attacks, they are selling malicious packages to people who’d like to commit a cyber crime but don’t necessarily have the technical skill to do so.

It also points out the rising threat of malware to mobile devices. With more people using phones and tablets to access personal data – such as bank details or work information – malware is now being designed to exploit them.

As the report says, ransomware is “a technique that carries over perfectly to mobile devices and is giving cyber criminals excellent results”. It cites new malware for Android, ‘Charger’, which steals contacts and text messages before blocking the terminal. The ransom message includes a threat to sell parts of the user’s information on the black market if the ransom – 0.2 bitcoins (around £270) – isn’t paid.

Improve your cyber security

Cyber attacks are more likely to be targeted at companies and company devices than domestic ones, according to PandaLabs. It found that 2.45% of company devices had been attacked, while that proportion is 2.19% for domestic devices.

“While that figure may seem counterintuitive,” PandaLabs said, referring to the fact that corporate networks generally have stronger security systems than home computers, “corporations possess information that is infinitely more valuable than what one might find on any given home PC”.

With this in mind, it’s even more important to know that your company’s cyber security systems are strong enough to repel an attack. IT Governance offers a variety of technical services to help you test your defences – whether that’s your applications, networks or employees.

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