SonicWall – the leading publisher of widely quoted ransomware threat intelligence globally, recently shared the 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report. The report outlines a sustained and massive rise in ransomware with 623.3 M global attacks. The report further revealed that almost all monitored cyberattacks, threats, and malicious digital assaults increased in 2021, including encrypted threats, ransomware, cryptojacking, and IoT malware.
Referring to the bi-annual report, Bill Conner, Sonicwall President & CEO, said, “Cyberattacks become more attractive and potentially more disastrous as dependence on information technology increases.” He further added that securing information in a boundless world is an almost impossible and thankless job, especially since the boundaries of organizations are ever-expanding to limitless endpoints and networks.
Sharing his thoughts on the report, Debasish Mukherjee, Vice President, Regional Sales-APAC, SonicWall, stated, “With threats of almost every type on the rise, is it imperative that we have strategies and resilience systems in place to respond almost instantaneously. Especially in the Asia Pacific, where many have been the target of these malicious attacks, our findings in the 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report will help us to find the right security measures to protect our greatest assets.”
A 105% Increase in Ransomware Attacks
SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers tracked the meteoric rise in ransomware, recording almost 318.6 million additional ransomware attacks than in 2020. They recorded a 105% increase in attacks. Researchers also concluded that the ransomware volume has risen by 232% since 2019.
High-profile ransomware attacks affected businesses, federal and state governments, hospitals, schools, and individuals. All industries witnessed massive increases in ransomware volume, including healthcare (755%), government (+1,885%), retail (21%), and education (152%).
The rise in Malicious Assaults
The variety and frequency of cyberattacks continue to rise every year, resulting in increased costs to organizations globally.
“Attacks on networks rose to a fever pitch in 2021,” said SonicWall Vice President of Platform Architecture Dmitriy Ayrapetov. “Ransomware, cryptojacking, vulnerably exploitation, phishing, and other attacks continue to plague organizations around the world and overwhelm security teams. It’s important to understand the breakdown of these attacks and why they continue to be successful, as well as the drivers and trends behind them.”
Insights on additional cyber threats include:
Apache Log4j vulnerabilities were quickly exploited, with threat actors logging 142.2 million exploit attempts between Dec. 11 and Jan. 31 — an average of 2.7 million each day.
Malware volumewas slightly down again in 2021, marking both a third-straight year of decrease as well as a seven-year low. However, an uptick in attacks during the second half of 2021 almost completely erased the 22% drop in malware that SonicWall had recorded at the mid-year point, bringing the total decrease for 2021 to just 4%.
Encrypted threats increased 167% year over year. In August, the number of encrypted attacks broke the 1 million mark for the first time and later continued to rise, touching almost 2.5 million by the end of the year.
Cryptojacking continued to surge last year, rising 19% globally to 97.1 million, which is the most attacks that SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers have ever recorded in a single year.
IoT malware volume rose 6% in 2021, totaling 60.1 million hits by year’s end.
RTDMI Found 65% More ‘Never-before-seen’ Malware Variants
SonicWall’s Real-Time Deep Memory InspectionTM (RTDMI) technology discovered a total of 442,151 never-before-seen malware variants in 2021. This was almost a 65% YoY increase and an average of 1,211 per day.