SonicWall Cyber Threat Report: Key Findings and Recommendations

The 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report presented by VSL’s Cyber Security Assessment service is an end-to-end guide on the latest cyber threats and the best ways to thwart them. It analyses the threat levels, security professionals’ preparedness to deal with them, and offers strategic recommendations to take forward the war on cyber terrorism.

Related topic: SonicWall Cyber Threat Report: Actionable Intelligence for Navigating Digital Transformation

Some of the top advances made by the security industry:

  • Lower volume of ransomware attacks
    There was no rise in the number of ransomware attacks in 2017, but data from SonicWall’s Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) sandbox noted a spike in more targeted, unique, and challenging ransomware. The report also analyses shifting trends in payment methods, particularly bitcoin, that affect trends in ransomware.
  • More numbers of SSL, TLS encryption
    There were higher numbers of HTTPS than unencrypted HTTP sessions, which is critical for the security of cloud environments/applications and websites. However, there are hidden cyber threats in encrypted sessions and there is a huge need to inspect SSL and TLS sessions to stop them. For the first time, the threat report offers real-world data that uncovers the volume of malware and other threats hidden in encrypted sessions.
  • Moving targets of exploit kits
    While browser vendors are phasing out vulnerable applications, cybercriminals are targeting the replacement applications. When confronted with a highly dynamic attack vector, organizations need to employ advanced technologies like machine learning to help protect against them.
  • Law enforcement arrests dissuade cybercriminals
    Arrests of key malware and exploit kit authors are lowering the scale, volume, and success of cyber attacks.

The top advances made by cybercriminals:

  • A higher number of ransomware variants
    The report identified a new malware variant for every 250 unknown hits, even though there were fewer ransomware payouts and occurrences. The study analyses the trends in 2017 and examines the possibility of 2018 presenting a truer picture of the threat landscape.
  • ‘Malware cocktails’ repurpose existing codes
    Cybercriminals are creating ‘malware cocktails’ that use variations of a preexisting code so they can be released undetected into a network. Malware writers are leveraging each others’ code and mixing them to form new malware, placing a strain on signature-only security controls. The report studies trending exploit kits and the ways in which they have repurposed old code for new gains.
  • IoT, chip processors are the new frontiers for cybercriminals
    Cybercriminals are pushing the envelope by breaking into advanced technology spaces, notably the Internet of Things (IoT) and chip processors.

The 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report explains in detail the mode of operations of malware writers and their techniques. In most cases, these techniques are near-impossible to analyse in real time using static detection techniques. The report offers you all the actionable insights you will need in charting your security roadmap.

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