New Trend Micro report highlights common tactics used by cyber criminals this year

Trend Micro, a cybersecurity solutions company, released its “2017 Midyear Security Roundup: The Cost of Compromise” report, highlighting security threats for the first half of 2017. The company claims to have detected more than 82 million ransomware threats in addition to over 3,000 business email compromises (BEC) in the last six months.

According to the report, companies are threatened by an uptick in ransomware, BEC scams, internet of things (IoT) attacks and cyber propaganda. Although IT departments are investing more in security, an analyst report by Forrester claims companies are not effectively managing resources to address the surge in cyber attacks.

“Enterprises need to prioritize funds for effective security upfront, as the cost of a breach is frequently more than a company’s budget can sustain,” said Max Cheng, chief information officer of Trend Micro. “Major cyberattacks against enterprises globally have continued to be a hot-button topic this year, and this trend is likely to continue through the remainder of 2017. It’s integral to the continued success of organizations to stop thinking of digital security as merely protecting information, but instead as an investment in the company’s future.”

The report reviewed how the “WannaCry” and “Petya” ransomware attacks back in April and June impacted thousands around the world. In particular, the WannaCry attack infected 300,000 computer in 150 countries. The the price tag attached to damages from the attack, including damage control and reduced productivity, could cost as much as $4 billion, according to the report.

Trend Micro data also revealed that cyber criminals most often trick recipients into sending them large amounts of money from corporate bank accounts by using a CEO’s name. This was followed by the managing director or director’s name at 28.29% and then the president’s name at 6.88%.

Moreover, the study highlighted the specific positions that BEC attacks target: CFO came in at 18.89%, director of finance at 7.45%, finance manager at 6.37%, finance controller at 6.26%, accountant at 4.01% and a host of unnamed roles at 57.02%. The company said it is imperative that companies employ solutions capable of thwarting emails harboring malware like keyloggers.

IoT attacks also increased during the first half of 2017, revealing industrial robots can be comprised. Moreover, the report noted an increase in cyber propaganda like fake news and poor publicity, which can have financial repercussions for companies.

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