Positive Technologies keeps monitoring the most important IT security threats. In 2019, company recorded over 1,500 attacks, 19 percent more than in the previous year. In 81 percent of cases, the victims were organizations. The top five target sectors in 2019 were government, industry, healthcare, science and education, and finance.

Key findings: 

  • The number of unique attacks increased every quarter, and at year-end it was 19 percent higher than the total for 2018.
  • Top target sectors were government, industry, healthcare, science and education, and finance. These industries received the brunt (54%) of all attacks against organizations.
  • Industrial companies accounted for 10 percent of attack targets, compared to 4 percent in 2018. Attacks on them tend to involve malware (in 90% of cases).
  • Targeted attacks prevailed over mass attacks. The percentage of targeted attacks was 60 percent, which is 5 percentage points more than in 2018. One of the reasons is an increase in APT attacks. Throughout the year, we noted high activity by 27 APT groups.
  • Information is still highly valuable in the cybercriminal community. 60 percent of campaigns against organizations and 57 percent of campaigns against individuals were aimed at obtaining data. Attackers were especially interested in personal data, credentials, and payment card numbers.
  • The total number of malware infections in 2019 was 38 percent higher than in 2018. Malware campaigns were so successful because both the malware itself and the methods for its delivery have evolved.
  • Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to companies worldwide. It was responsible for 31 percent of all malware infections among organizations. The average ransom paid in 2019 was hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ransomware operators threaten to make stolen data public unless the victim pays a ransom.
  • Throughout the year there were regular attacks with MageCart JavaScript sniffers. These attacks were so widespread because of supply chain compromises of developers of website software.
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