Trend Micro research reveals rising cyber threat


By Technology Decisions Staff
Tuesday, 12 September, 2017


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Australia has received the third highest number of malware detections in 2017, according to a new report by Trend Micro.

The 2017 Midyear Security Roundup: The Cost of Compromise report indicates that Trend Micro detected more than 82 million ransomware threats in the first half of the year, of which APAC received over a third (33.77%) of total attacks.

The first half of 2017 also demonstrates that business email compromise (BEC) is still one of the top threats that enterprises should look out for, particularly in Australia, claiming more than a quarter (27.4%) of all BEC attacks in the first half of 2017. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that global losses attributed to BEC scams have reached US$5.3 billion since 2013.

“The first half of 2017 undeniably saw cyber attacks becoming more diverse and sophisticated, with as many as 28 new ransomware families identified each month. Although businesses are more aware of the economic and reputational impact, cybercriminals are continuously evolving to outsmart enterprise,” said Dr Jon Oliver, senior security architect at Trend Micro.

“The Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem continues to develop, with cybercriminals taking over routers to launch attacks on smart devices. The attacks on IoT devices can have real-world consequences. For example, earlier this year we saw the WannaCry ransomware disable speed and red-light cameras.”

There may also be a discrepancy in how businesses perceive IoT, with more than one-third of respondents believing that their business was not impacted and/or IoT is hyped and the risks are being exaggerated.

Despite the rising percentage of security spending in IT budgets, a recent analyst report by Forrester notes that funds are not properly being allocated to address the growing threats facing enterprises today.

“Enterprises need to prioritise funds for effective security upfront, as the cost of a breach is frequently more than a company’s budget can sustain,” said Max Cheng, chief information officer of Trend Micro.

“Major cyber attacks against enterprises globally have continued to be a hot-button topic this year, and this trend is likely to continue through the remainder of 2017. It’s integral to the continued success of organisations to stop thinking of digital security as merely protecting information, but instead as an investment in the company’s future, brand and reputation.”

In addition to facing increased ransomware, BEC scams and IoT attacks, businesses now also need to contend with the threat of cyber propaganda.

January through June experienced a rise in IoT attacks, as well as the spread of cyber propaganda. In collaboration with Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI), Trend Micro showed it is possible for industrial robots to be compromised, which could amount to massive financial damage and productivity loss. There was also an increased abuse of social media with the rise of cyber propaganda.

To read the complete report, click here.

Image credit: ©alphaspirit/Dollar Photo Club

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