SonicWall, today published the SonicWall Cyber Threat Report 2022. As the twice-yearly report shows, the number of ransomware attacks worldwide has increased exorbitantly with 623.3 million attacks.
Bill Conner, CEO of SonicWall
Almost all observed threats, cyber attacks and malicious digital attacks have increased in 2021, such as ransomware, encrypted threats, IoT malware and cryptojacking.
“The more we are dependent on information technologies, the more attractive cyber attacks become for hackers and the more catastrophic the consequences for those affected,” he said Bill Conner, President and CEO of SonicWall . “Protecting information in a world without borders is almost impossible and a thankless job, especially since the company boundaries are constantly shifting and countless endpoints and networks are added.“
Ransomware continues to rise with a 105% increase
- Over 623 million ransomware attacks worldwide – a huge increase of 105 %
- Ransomware attacks have increased by 232% since 2019
- Ransomware grew by 98% and 227% in the US and UK, respectively
- Germany saw a staggering 3256% increase in ransomware attacks in 2021 and the most ransomware attacks of any country in EMEA
- Log4j vulnerability was exploited 142 million times in six weeks
- 65% Increase in Previously unknown malware variants
- Germany saw a 599% increase in malware attacks in 2021
- 167% more encrypted threats than last year
- Record of 97.1 million Cryptojacking Attacks
The SonicWall Capture Labs Threat Research team has closely monitored the dramatic increase in ransomware numbers: there were a whole 318.6 million more ransomware attacks than in 2020, which corresponds to an increase of 105%. The ransomware threat has grown by 232% since 2019.
SonicWall’s threat data confirms an alarming increase in ransomware and malicious cyberattacks, as well as a doubling of threats in 2021
The large-scale ransomware attacks affected companies, authorities at the federal and state level, but also schools and hospitals and even individual individuals. The attacks were directed at supply chains, which led to extensive system failures, economic damage and loss of image. In parallel with global developments, ransomware numbers increased significantly in all industries, including government (+ 1,885%), healthcare (755%), education (152%) and retail (21%).
Attack vectors and malicious attacks are increasing
The frequency and variety of cyber attacks continue to increase year after year and cause increasing costs for organizations. Small, medium and large companies are threatened by a growing number of different cyber attacks. Without knowing exactly what it is or how cybercriminals act, it is almost impossible to effectively protect business-critical data.
“Attacks on networks have reached a new peak in 2021,” explains Dmitriy Ayrapetov, Vice President of Platform Architecture at SonicWall. “Ransomware, cryptojacking, vulnerability exploitation, phishing and other attacks continue to make life difficult for organizations around the globe and pose enormous challenges for security teams. It is important to understand how these attacks are structured and why they are still successful. You should also know the drivers and trends behind it.“
More insights on cyber threats:
- Which Apache-Log4jVulnerabilities were exploited in a short period of time, with threat actors performing 142.2 million exploit attempts between December 11 and January 31 – an average of 2.7 million per day. Within three days after the vulnerability was announced, the exploit attempts have already exceeded the 1 million mark.
- Which Malicious software-Attacks have decreased slightly again in 2021. This not only corresponds to a decrease of three years in a row, but also marks the lowest level in seven years. However, an increase in attacks in the second half of 2021 almost completely nullified the 22 percent drop in malware that SonicWall recorded in the half of the year. Thus, the decline for the full year 2021 corresponds to only 4% – which could indicate that there will be a malware comeback in 2022.
- The number of encrypted threats was 167% higher than in the previous year. In August, the number of encrypted attacks exceeded the 1 million mark for the first time and rose to 2.5 million by the end of the year.
- Which Cryptojacking-Numbers increased again last year by 19% to 97.1 million worldwide – more attacks than the SonicWall Capture Labs Threat Research team has never recorded in a single year.
- The number of IoT Malware increased by 6% in 2021 to a total of 60.1 million at the end of the year. While this is no reason to celebrate, it is at least an improvement over 2019 and 2020, both years in which the number of IoT malware increased by 218 and 66%, respectively. Since there is no corresponding decline in the spread of networked devices, this development could indicate a decrease in attacks.
Smarter than ever: RTDMI identified 65% more brand new malware variants
SonicWall’s patented Real-Time Deep Memory InspectionTM (RTDMI) technology identified a total of 442,151 previously unknown malware variants in 2021 – an increase of 65% over the previous year and an average of 1,211 variants per day. In the fourth quarter, it identified more brand-new malware variants than in any other quarter since its launch in 2018.
SonicWall Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) with RTDMI recently achieved 100% of the possible points in the ATD test of ICSA Labs for Q4 2021 for the fourth time in a row. The independent testing laboratory ICSA Labs has tested SonicWall’s solutions using previously unknown malware variants. In the course of the full year 2021, SonicWall technology did not escape a single malware sample – and it did not produce a single hoax message.
If you want to find out more about SonicWall and download the complete SonicWall Cyber Threat Report 2022, visit SonicWall at sonicwall.com/ThreatReport . A PDF with a shorter summary of the results can be found here.