2023 could be the biggest ever year for cybercrime

2023 could very well be the biggest year ever for cybercriminals, new figures have claimed.

According to SonicWall’s latest figures, cybercrime is on the rise across the board, but trends are slowly shifting which is something IT security teams should keep in mind. More precisely, hackers are opting for a “slow and low” approach, keeping stealthy while trying to achieve financially-motivated goals.

That being said, the company found that the total malware volume was up 2% in 2022, after three straight years of decline.

Ransomware up in volume

Overall, the entire European continent saw increased levels of malware (10%+), with Ukraine suffering a record 25.6 million attempts. Certain countries, such as the UK (-13%) and Germany (-28%) fared quite well last year. Across the pond, the U.S. experienced 9% lower malware volume, compared to 2021.

Ransomware, arguably one of the most popular attack vectors out there, saw a global decline of 21%, but total volume that surpassed that of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 202. In particular, total ransomware in Q4 (154.9 million) was the highest since Q3 2021.

But trends seem to be shifting towards IoT malware, whose global volume rose by 87% in 2022, totaling 112 million hits last year. Cryptojacking – hijacking an endpoint to mine cryptocurrency – is yet to show signs of abating, as well. It rose 43% globally last year, which is the most SonicWall threat researchers recorded in a single year. The retail and financial industries were hit the heaviest, with 2810% and 352% increases, respectively.

“The past year reinforced the need for cybersecurity in every industry and every facet of business, as threat actors targeted anything and everything, from education to retail to finance,” said SonicWall President and CEO Bob VanKirk. “While organizations face an increasing number of real-world obstacles with macroeconomic pressures and continued geopolitical strife, threat actors are shifting attack strategies at an alarming rate.” 

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