2023 Security Report: Cyberattacks reach an all-time high in response to geo-political conflict, and the rise of ‘disruption and destruction’ malware

February 8, 2023

The 2023 Security Report is reflecting on a chaotic year in cybersecurity. The report looks back on a tumultuous 2022, which saw cyberattacks reach an all-time high in response to the Russo-Ukrainian war. Education and Research remains the most targeted sector, but attacks on the healthcare sector registered a 74% increase year-on-year.

According to the report, cyberattacks have risen by 38% in 2022 compared to the previous year, with an average of 1,168 weekly attacks per organization being recorded. The report also highlights the role played by smaller and more agile hackers and ransomware groups in exploiting legitimate collaboration tools used in the hybrid workplace. From the rise of new ransomware variants to the spread of hacktivism in conflict areas in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the 2023 Security Report uncovers the trends and behaviors that defined the year.

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Highlights of the 2023 Cyber Security Report include:

  • Ransomware Extortion and Unrestrained Wipers – Attribution of ransomware operations and tracking threat actors may become even harder, and existing protection mechanisms which are based on detecting encryption activity, could prove less effective. Instead, the focus will be more on data wiping and exfiltration detection.
  • Hacktivism – The boundaries between state cyber-operations and hacktivism have been blurred, as nation states acted with a degree of anonymity without fear of retaliation. Non-state affiliated hacktivist groups are better organized and more effective than ever before.
  • Cloud: Third Party Threat –There has been a significant increase in the number of attacks on cloud-based networks per organization, which shot up by 48% in 2022 compared with 2021 indicating a shift for threat actors’ preference to scan the IP range of cloud providers gaining easier access to sensitive information or critical services.
  • Weaponization of Legitimate Tools – To combat sophisticated cybersecurity solutions, threat actors are developing and perfecting their attack techniques, which increasingly rely less on the use of custom malware and shift instead to utilizing non-signature tools.

One of the key takeaways from the report is that the widening cyber skills gap and the increasing complexity of distributed networks have created the perfect storm for cybercriminals.
The cloud migration trend has only made things worse, creating a wider attack surface for these malicious actors.

The 2023 Cyber Security Report gives a detailed synopsis of the cyber-threat landscape and provides practical take-aways and recommendations to security professionals on how to prevent the next attack. Whether it’s a ransomware attack, a data breach, a phishing attack or a supply chain attack – prevention is at reach!

The report’s findings are based on data drawn from Check Point’s ThreatCloud Intelligence, derived between January and December 2022.

This year, the report is presented in 2 formats , a pdf. file to download, and an interactive online version 

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