Indian firms were highly vulnerable to cyber attacks in the period following demonetisation with close to 50% of the attacks happening in the last three months of 2016, a report published by Fortinet points out.
The research report said that the last two weeks in December, 2016 recorded a very high level of threat activity following the push towards a cashless economy. The most attacked industry was Banking & Finance which received 15 times more hits than the second-placed Information Technology industry.
“The cybersecurity challenges facing organizations today are complex with a threat landscape that is rapidly evolving. Threats are intelligent, autonomous, and increasingly difficult to detect, with new ones emerging and old ones returning with enhanced capabilities,” Michael Joseph, Regional Director, India & SAARC at Fortinet.
According to the latest threat analysis, instances of ransomware attacks have continued to go up. Ransomware are malicious software that block access to a computer until a sum of money is paid. Hackers take control of a computer through Ransomware and encrypt the files in the computer denying access to the user until the desired amount is paid.
The reported highlighted that Q4 period showed the ransomware trend continuing with 9 out 0f the top-10 malwares being ransomeware downloaders.
“The accessibilty of threat creation tools and services combined with reward potential is driving the growth of the global cybercrime market into tens of billions of US dollars. To protect themselves, Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) need to ensure that the data and security elements across all of their environments and devices are integrated, automated, and able to share intelligence, across an organization, from IoT to the cloud,”Joseph added.
While Finance was the most attacked vertical through Q1 to Q3, a surge of attacks in Telcos in the last 3 months of 2016 moved the latter to the top place by the end of the year. Globally, India stood 13th on the list of maleware detections in Q4.
The report also highlighted Internet of Things (IOT) devices as the sought-after commodities for cyber criminals who compromise systems by building their own armies of “things”. This has created the ability to cheaply replicate attacks at incredible speed and scale.
Besides, mobile malware has become a larger problem with one in five organizations reporting malware encountered a mobile variant. Interestingly, all the affected devices were running Android OS, the report said.