2017 saw a worrying increase in ransomware and other cyberattacks targeting the supply chain, with the business and professional services sector receiving a significant increase of attacks, particularly in the EMEA region, which saw 20% of all attacks targeting this sector.
This is according to Dimension Data that today published its Executive Guide to the NTT Security 2018 Global Threat Intelligence Report.
The businesses and professional services sector received 10% of global ransomware attacks, the third most targeted industry (up from sixth position in 2016), behind finance and technology. It also ranked third in the Americas (9%) and was the most vulnerable sector in EMEA, receiving 20% of all attacks.
As ransomware-related outsourced incident response engagements against financial institutions declined (a drop from 22% in 2016 to 5% last year), the business and professional services supply chain has clearly become a prime target for trade secrets and intellectual property theft, potentially exposing customer and business partner data.
Despite the drop in outsourced incident response engagements, the finance sector remains the number one target for cyber criminals who carry out regular reconnaissance to spot potential infrastructure and application vulnerabilities.
Mark Thomas, Dimension Data’s Group CTO for Cybersecurity said, “There are numerous moving parts to supply chains and outsourcing companies, which often run on disparate and out-dated network infrastructures, making them easy prey to cyber threat actors.
“Service providers and outsourcers are also a prime target, due to their trade secrets and intellectual property. Businesses need to wise-up to the very real threats against them and ensure all aspects of their operations are robustly and securely protected.”
Technology was the second most cyber-attacked industry in 2017, with a 19% attack volume, with business and professional services moving to third place. Interestingly, attacks on the government sector last year dropped to 5% from 9% in 2016.
In 2017, there was a massive 350% rise in ransomware, representing 7% of all global malware attacks (up from 1% in 2016), and is set to continue due to the popularity of cyber adversary campaigns.