Global Cyber-Attacks Rise by 7% in Q1 2023

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Weekly cyber-attacks have increased worldwide by 7% in Q1 2023 compared to the same period last year, with each firm facing an average of 1248 attacks per week.

The figures come from Check Point’s latest research report, which also suggests that the education and research sector experienced the highest number of attacks, rising to an average of 2507 per organization per week (a 15% increase compared to Q1 2022).

“While the volume of attacks has only risen marginally, we have witnessed several sophisticated campaigns from cyber-criminals who are finding ways to weaponize legitimate tools for malicious gains,” reads the report.

“Recent examples include using ChatGPT for code generation that can help less-skilled threat actors effortlessly launch cyberattacks, Trojanizing 3CX Desktop app for a supply chain attack, and leveraging the critical unauthorized RCE Vulnerability in the ‘Microsoft Message Queuing’ service.”

Geographically, the APAC region experienced the highest year-on-year (YoY) increase in weekly attacks, with an average of 1835 per company (16% more than last year). North America followed with a 9% YoY increase resulting in 950 average weekly attacks per organization.

“In the United States, cybersecurity regulations have recently been revised, and regulators are currently considering proposals aimed at improving incident reporting, information disclosure, oversight, and the modernization of outdated legislation,” reads the research article.

The Check Point report also shows that 1 in 31 organizations worldwide experienced a ransomware attack weekly over the first quarter of 2023.

“This represents a 1% increase compared to the same period in 2022 when a similar number of organizations fell victim to such attacks. Latin America saw the largest year-over-year increase of 28% when 1 out of 17 organizations experienced a ransomware attack.”

Cyber Safety Tips 

To defend against such threats, the security researchers recommended a series of cyber safety tips

  1. Up-to-Date Patches: Keeping computers and servers up-to-date and applying security patches.
  2. Cyber Awareness Training: Frequent cybersecurity awareness training is crucial to protecting the organization against cyberattacks.
  3. Utilize better threat prevention: Most ransomware attacks can be detected and resolved before it is too late. Have automated threat detection and prevention in place to maximize chances of protection.
  4. Keep your software updated. Attackers sometimes find an entry point within an orgnaization’s apps and software, noting vulnerabilities and capitalizing on them. Have a patch management strategy in place and ensure all team members are constantly up to date with the latest versions.
  5. Choose Prevention over detection: Attacks can be blocked and they can be prevented, including zero-day attacks and unknown malware. With the right technologies in place, most attacks, even the most advanced ones, can be prevented without disrupting the normal business flow.

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