Business leaders are worried about the growing volume of malicious attacks on IT networks, and are especially concerned about supply chain vulnerability in 2022, according to a report from cybersecurity firm SonicWall, released this month.
The company’s 2022 Cyber Threat Report tracked a 232% increase in ransomware globally since 2019, and a 105% increase from 2020 to 2021. Ransomware is malware that uses encryption to hold a person or organization’s data captive so they are unable to access files, databases, or applications. Such attacks were up 98% in the United States last year, and up 227% in the United Kingdom, according to the report.
Nearly all cyber threats the company monitors–including encrypted threats, Internet of Things (IoT) malware, and “cryptojacking,” in which cybercriminals gain access to computer systems in order to “mine” for cryptocurrency–rose last year, due largely to a growing reliance on IT systems and the difficult task of securing those systems.
“Cyberattacks become more attractive and potentially more disastrous as dependence on information technology increases,” SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner said in a press release detailing the report. “Securing information in a boundless world is a near impossible and thankless job, especially as the boundaries of organizations are ever-expanding to limitless endpoints and networks.”
SonicWall’s bi-annual report analyzes data gathered from the company’s Capture Threat network, which monitors and collects information from global devices, including more than a million security sensors in roughly 215 countries and territories around the world.
The report found that more than a third of organizations are worried about attacks that may compromise their supply chains. Ransomware events hit supply chains hard in 2021, the researchers said, causing widespread system downtime, economic loss, and reputational damage. The situation was felt across all industries, including government, which saw ransomware rise nearly 2,000%, healthcare (+755%), education (+152%), and retail (+21%).