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Is Your Data Safe? New Trends to Watch Out For

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(StatePoint) Keeping data secure is becoming more challenging, as the methods employed by cybercriminals grow more sophisticated every year.

Globally, cyberattacks were up in 2018 over the previous year, according to a new report from SonicWall, which offers breach detection and prevention solutions to small- and medium-size businesses, enterprises and government agencies. The company logged 10.52 billion malware attacks in 2018, the most ever on record, representing a 22 percent increase over the previous year.

“Those who want to protect their data and that of the people they do business with, should be aware of cybercrime trends and seek out smart solutions that evolve as new threats emerge,” says Bill Conner, president and CEO of SonicWall.

The report highlights some recent trends that individuals, businesses and organizations should keep in mind.

One is that criminals are increasingly using PDF and Office files to spread malware. In 2018, SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection, a multi-engine, cloud-based sandbox service, found malware hidden in 47,073 PDFs and 50,817 Office files. What’s more is that criminals are using non-standard ports for attacks at a growing rate. Based on a sampling of more than 700 million malware attacks, SonicWall found that 19.2 percent came across non-standard ports in 2018, an 8.7 percent year-over-year increase.

Have you outfitted your home with smart tech? Keep in mind that the Internet of Things (IoT) is also growing more vulnerable. SonicWall recorded 32.7 million IoT attacks in 2018, a 217.5 percent increase over the 10.3 million IoT attacks the company logged in 2017.

And while there is growth in the use of encrypted traffic, suggesting that organizations and businesses are taking security seriously, it coincides with more attacks being cloaked by TLS/SSL encryption.

Indeed, more than 2.8 million attacks were encrypted in 2018, a 27 percent increase over 2017.
But there’s some good news as well. In 2018, cryptojacking vanished nearly as fast is it appeared. The volume peaked in September with 13.1 million recorded attacks, but has been on a steady decline since.

The report suggests that worldwide phishing attacks are also in decline. In 2018, SonicWall recorded 26 million phishing attacks worldwide, a 4.1 percent drop from 2017. The average SonicWall customer faced 5,488 phishing attacks in 2018.

To see the full report and to access other resources, visit www.sonicwall.com.

“Staying connected and doing business without fear is possible. Fortunately, as cybercrime ramps up, security measures are keeping apace,” says Conner.

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