Over the past 18 months, everyone across the world has been undeniably focused on the pandemic. Everything changed, from the way children did their schooling to how businesses continued operations.

However, while we have all been concentrating on the pandemic, this hasn’t stopped cyber criminals from attacking.

Every year SonicWall, a well-known US cyber security solutions company releases their mid-year report on cyber threats. So what does this report tell us about safety on the internet? Let’s find out.

In the first six months of this year, global ransomware volume reached a massive 304.7million attempted attacks. This has easily overtaken the 304.6 million ransomware attempts that occurred throughout the entirety of 2020. This means that ransomware attacks are up 151% when compared to the same time in 2020. While Malware attacks have decreased 9%, high profile attacks have been impacting businesses worldwide, with some of the most prominent attacks being on Colonial Pipeline, JBS Foods, Kaseya and hospitals worldwide.

In 2021, Q2 was the worst quarter for ransomware that has ever been recorded by SonicWall. This year is easily looking remarkably worse in comparison to the last few years, and we are only in Q3.

So why have seen such a huge increase? Well, SonicWall has narrowed it down to two main reasons, which both revolve around the premise that the more organisations are forced to payout, the more incentive ransomware groups have to launch attacks.

Firstly is Cyber Insurance, when organisations purchase insurance, it means that any cyber-attack that involves the payment of ransoms are covered by insurance. However, this isn’t as beneficial as it sounds. When victims are paying these ransoms to cybercriminals, the criminals are instead seeing this as a way to continue to make bigger and bigger demands, as they know it will be paid out by the insurance companies, until it eventually becomes unsustainable.

Secondly, is the double or nothing strategy, this involves double extortion and repeat attacks. This way it is more likely for their attacks to pay off. What happened is that companies started keeping back-ups, so they didn’t need to pay for the return of their data from cybercriminals. So instead criminals decided to steal and exfiltrate data before they encrypt the files so that if the business wasn’t going to pay to get their data back, they could instead threaten to extort them. Then businesses would need to pay the ransom in order to preserve their reputation, avoid fines, and maintain regulatory compliance, in regard to personally identifiable information, protecting customers, and preserving the secrecy of intellectual property.

However, we also saw law enforcement across the world dealing devastating blows to some of the most prominent ransomware groups in the world. At the same time, cybersecurity vendors have been introducing a huge range of new technologies, products and tools, that will help keep businesses safe, and one step ahead of cybercriminals. This will hopefully lead to a decrease in successful cyber-attacks.

While attacks in Australia weren’t as high as in other countries such as the USA and the UK, we were still the target of cyber threats. Last September the government introduced a range of voluntary regulations for cybersecurity requirements. However, due to the lack of response from manufacturers, they are considering making mandatory cyber security requirements for consumer-grade smart devices.

This report tells us that our internet safety is not as safe as we might like to think. The SonicWall cyber threat report allows us to use their information in order to make better business decisions and protect your business before a cyberattack is knocking at your door.

If this has got you thinking about cybersecurity solutions for your business, or your business internet needs and providers, then look no further. If you are looking to safeguard your business against cyber threats, or, are looking for a better deal on your internet or phone providers, then contact Select and Switch today. Select and Switch can assist with a cybersecurity review for your organisation, and, they also have a panel of leading telecommunications partners who offer a vast range of options to suit your needs. Head to www.selectandswitch.com.au today.

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