Financial sector has experienced rapid growth in cryptojacking

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Financial sector has experienced rapid growth in cryptojacking Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.


Cybersecurity firm SonicWall has released the 2024 SonicWall Annual Cyber Threat Report, which exposes all types of cyber behaviours and trends from digital adversaries to help partners build data-driven solutions to keep customers safe.

2023 proved to be a year of volatile, adaptive and creative digital threats, as threat actors continue to be relentless in their assault, leaving organizations looking for another layer of defence. 

Organizations are increasingly turning to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to alleviate pressure on IT departments. Managed services have emerged as a game-changing solution, providing organizations with an additional human-layer of defense, addressing alert fatigue, and freeing up valuable resources and time for core business functions.

“The SonicWall 2024 Threat Report reveals that the threat landscape continues to grow in complexity and depth as threat actors adopt new tactics and platforms,” said SonicWall President and CEO Bob VanKirk. “It has become clear that conventional network security isn’t enough. Security professionals need assistance to cope with the overwhelming volume of cyberattacks and protect from the endpoint to the cloud. Especially as the cloud becomes an indispensable reality for businesses, the role of MSPs is shifting from technical maintenance to raising the bar on their cutomers security posture.”

Overall attack numbers climbed (+20%) totaling more than 1 billion attempts compared to the same time as last year. Global cryptojacking volume rose 659% and encrypted threat jumped 117%, as threat actors opted for a stealthier, less risky means of malicious activities. The data illustrates the tenacious and evolving state of cyber threats, underscoring the need for businesses to continually adapt their security strategies, and serves as a call for organizations to lean on MSPs to help identify and remediate threats quickly.

Evolved, Diversified Attack Vector

SonicWall executive VP of managed security services, Michael Crean, said: “When it comes to protecting your most valuable assets, organizations must remain alert, and deploy proactive cybersecurity measures, and focus on the threats that actually matter.

“Today’s organisations demand an integrated approach for end-to-end managed threat protection enabling MSPs to help customers navigate the cybersecurity landscape with confidence and resilience – giving them a distinct competitive edge.” 

Cybercriminals and nation states are adapting their abilities to gain access to critical infrastructure, making the threat landscape even more complex and forcing organizations to reconsider their security needs. The second half of the 2023 saw a barrage of ransomware activity (+27%) and a variety of other attacks have trended up globally annually, including IoT exploit (+15%), intrusion attempts (+20%) and encrypted threats (+117%). 

CTO of Compass MSP and longtime SonicWall partner, Alex Tsukanov, said: “In an era where cyber threats are increasingly sophisticated, MSPs are the frontline defence protecting their customers and helping them spend more of their time managing their business’ needs.

“New threats are emerging every day, and MSPs use threat insights to build an actual plan with the necessary capabilities to keep our customers safe, like that found in the SonicWall’s threat report.” 

SMB to the Enterprise – The Surge Continues 

While ransomware continues to be a threat, SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers expect a broader set of actions in 2024, specifically targeting SMBs, governments and the enterprise. SonicWall sensors identify and prevent more than 19,000 threats per day. 

The 2024 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report provides insight on a range of threats, including: 

  • Malware – Total global malware volume rose 11% in 2023, with Latin America and the U.S. logging the biggest jumps – (+30%) and (+15%) respectively. Surprisingly, Europe saw a (-2%) decrease, with the UK seeing the steepest decline of -28%.
  • Ransomware – Overall ransomware numbers saw a -36% decline annually, the summer months and second half of the year suggests a strong rebound, as it spiked +37% during the summer months when compared to the same time last year. 
  • IoT Exploit Global volume rose 15%, as connected devices continue to rapidly multiply, bad actors are targeting weak points of entry as potential attack vectors into organizations.
  • Encrypted Threats – Yet another quieter approach embraced by bad actors in the last year was encrypted threats, which spiked (+117%) globally. 

Patented RTDMI Discovered more than 294,000 ‘Never-Before-Seen’ Malware Variants

SonicWall’s patented Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMI) technology identified a total of 293,989 never-before-seen malware variants in 2023. The threat landscape remains complex, with almost 800 strains of new variants discovered each day. 

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