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After Log4J flaw, cyberattacks peaked towards the end of 2021: Check Point Research

The fourth quarter of 2021 saw an all-time peak in weekly cyber-attacks with over 900 attacks per organisation, according to cyber security firm Check Point Research (CPR).

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 11, 2022 12:33:51 pm
Log4j, Log4j vulnerability, cyber attacks, hacking,Education and research was the most attacked sector with a 75 per cent increase. (File)

The fourth quarter of 2021 saw an all-time peak in weekly cyber-attacks per organisation with over 900 attacks per organisation, according to cyber security firm Check Point Research (CPR). The peak also came after the discovery of the Log4j flaw vulnerability that impacted most networks and organisations given the ubiquitous use of the Log4j library. The flaw was discovered in December and companies have been rushing to patch the issue since then.

According to CPR, after the Log4j vulnerability was discovered there were millions of attacks per hour attempting to exploit this flaw.

Overall 2021 saw a 50 per cent increase in attacks per week on corporate networks compared to 2020. The trend of increasing cyber-attacks reached an all-time high at the end of the year, peaking to 925 cyber attacks a week per organisation, globally.

In India, there have been 1803 weekly average attacks per organisation in 2021, which is a 24 per cent change from the year 2020. Globally, Europe saw the highest percent increase in cyber attacks year over year, though the maximum volume of attacks was witnessed by Africa, which saw an average of 1582 weekly attacks per organisation.

Further, education and research was the most attacked sector with a 75 per cent increase. Cyberattacks on the government sector jumped by 47 per cent last year and the healthcare sector saw a 71 per cent increase.

The APAC region had an average of 1,353 weekly attacks per organisation (25 per cent increase); Latin America had 1,118 attacks weekly (38 per cent increase) and Europe stood at 670 attacks weekly which was a 68 per cent increase. North America had an average of 503 weekly attacks per organization (61 per cent increase).

According to CPR, the biggest challenge for companies is going to be preventing attacks before they happen. Further, it recommends that companies work on a single solution that can secure and protect all surfaces and vectors because everything on a network can be a point of target.

It notes that “email, web browsing, servers, and storage are merely the basics. Mobile apps, cloud, and external storage are essential, so does compliance of connected mobile and endpoint devices, and your growing IoT device estate. Workloads, containers, and serverless applications on multi- and hybrid-cloud environments should be part of the checklist at all times.”

It also points out that “attacks penetrate networks by leveraging known vulnerabilities that have a patch that has not been applied,” and organisations need to keep up to date with security patches to avoid this. Further, it recommends segmenting networks and applying strong firewall and IPS safeguards. Finally, educating company employees and other users on secure practices can also help boost security, notes the cybersecurity firm.

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