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2019 sees growth in fileless threats

September 12, 2019 • Security, Top Stories

2019 sees growth in fileless threats

Threats in 2019 bring the ultimate test of defenses by evading traditional security.

The latest report by Trend Micro has revealed that there is growth in fileless threats in the first half of 2019. According to the report attackers are increasingly deploying threats that aren’t visible to traditional security filters, as they can be executed in a system’s memory, reside in the registry, or abuse legitimate tools. Exploit kits have also made a comeback, with a 136 per cent increase compared to the same time in 2018.

The findings in 2019 so far confirm many of the predictions Trend Micro made last year. Namely, attackers are working smarter to target businesses and environments that will produce the greatest return on investment.

Jon Clay, director of global threat communications for Trend Micro said, “Sophistication and stealth is the name of the cybersecurity game today, as corporate technology and criminal attacks become more connected and smarter.”

“From attackers, we saw intentional, targeted, and crafty attacks that stealthily take advantage of people, processes and technology. However, on the business side, digital transformation and cloud migrations are expanding and evolving the corporate attack surface. To navigate this evolution, businesses need a technology partner that can combine human expertise with advanced security technologies to better detect, correlate, respond to, and remediate threats,” he adds.

Cryptomining malware remained the most detected threat in the first half of 2019, with attackers increasingly deploying these threats on servers and in cloud environments. Substantiating another prediction, the number of routers involved in possible inbound attacks jumped 64 per cent compared to the first half of 2018, with more Mirai variants searching for exposed devices.

Additionally, digital extortion schemes soared by 319 per cent from the second half of 2018, which aligns with previous projections. Business email compromise (BEC) remains a major threat, with detections jumping 52 per cent compared to the past six months. Ransomware-related files, emails and URLs also grew 77 per cent over the same period.

In total, Trend Micro blocked more than 26.8 billion threats in the first half of 2019, over 6 billion more than the same period last year. Of note, 91 per cent of these threats entered the corporate network via email. Mitigating these advanced threats requires smart defense-in-depth that can correlate data from across gateways, networks, servers and endpoints to best identify and stop attacks.

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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