As the threat of cyberattacks increases, businesses are facing a particularly high hurdle in safeguarding their supply chains.
New research from the NTT Security 2018 Global Threat Intelligence Report, released last week by Dimension Data, found a sharp increase in ransomware attacks aimed at supply chains last year. The business and professional services industry was particularly affected by this increase, researchers noted, hit by 10 percent of global ransomware attacks.
That makes the business and professional services market the third-most targeted industry for ransomware, compared with its sixth-place position in 2016.
Finance and technology remain the industries most targeted by ransomware and account for 70 percent of all attacks in the Americas, the report found, though the instance of ransomware-related incident responses at financial institutions dropped year-over-year from 22 percent to 5 percent last year.
But according to the report, the trade secrets and intellectual property that fill supply chains have emerged as key targets for ransomware attackers.
Further, despite a sharp drop in the number of financial institutions' incident response engagements, researchers warned that the financial service industry remains cybercriminals’ number-one target.
Different jurisdictions face different ransomware attacks: in Australia, the education sector was the most attacked, accounting for 26 percent of 2017 ransomware cases. Researchers noted that collaborative connections between educational institutions, students and campuses make the sector a prime target. Across the globe, attacks on the education sector doubled year-over-year.
In the Asia Pacific region, meanwhile, attacks in the manufacturing industry declined from 32 percent to just 7 percent, with researchers attributing the drop to implementation of more sophisticated cyber governances and defenses. And while financial services attacks declined by 20 percent from 2016 to 2017, it remains the APAC’s most-targeted industry.
China was pinpointed as the top source for cyber incidents on the world’s manufacturing industry, making up 67 percent of hostile activities across the Europe, Middle East and Asia market.
There was a 350 percent increase in ransomware last year, accounting for 7 percent of all malware attacks.