25 Jun 2024

200% increase in cyber attacks

global cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks has released the Unit 42 Network Threat Trends Research Report

Palo Alto Networks, a global cybersecurity company, has announced it has released the Unit 42 Network Threat Trends Research Report.

The company says the report underscores the latest trends in malware and what organisations need to know in order to best protect themselves from the shifting threat landscape.

A few highlights from the report include:

Exploitation of vulnerabilities has increased by 55%, compared to 2021.

Malware aimed at industries using Operational Technology (OT) including control systems and SCADA is Increasing: The average number of malware attacks experienced per organisation in the manufacturing, utilities and energy industry increased by 238% (between 2021 and 2022).

Linux malware is on the rise, targeting cloud workload devices, an estimated 90% of public cloud instances run on Linux. The most common types of threats against Linux systems are: botnets (47%), coinminers (21%) and backdoors (11%).

OT Security extract from the report:

Malware Aimed at Industries Using Operational Technology (OT) is Increasing

Industrial control systems (ICS), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, and other operational technology (OT) systems can be high-value targets for cyberthreats.
These systems are used in critical infrastructure industries such as energy, transportation, manufacturing and healthcare. Any disruption to these systems can have severe consequences for public safety, the environment and the economy.

These industries face a wide range of security threats, including malware, ransomware, physical attacks, supply chain attacks and vulnerability exploits. When attackers are successful, this can lead to production loss, equipment damage, environmental damage and even endangering human life.

In these industries, between 2021 and 2022, we saw the average number of attacks experienced per customer in the manufacturing, utilities and energy industry increased by 238%. In the last year, we saw seasonal fluctuations and an increase of 27.5% in the ratio of malware targeting industries above, over all network sessions.

To mitigate these risks, it is essential for organisations to implement comprehensive security measures that cover all aspects of their OT systems. This requires regular risk assessments, vulnerability testing and security awareness training for all stakeholders involved. By taking a proactive approach to OT security and adopting a holistic approach, organisations can effectively protect their critical infrastructure and ensure their systems continue to operate safely and efficiently.




Company info: Palo Alto Networks