Findings from the Recent BlackBerry Global Threat Intelligence Report


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  5. Findings From The Recent BlackBerry Global Threat Intelligence Report

The latest BlackBerry Global Threat Intelligence Report is now available. It provides interesting, timely, and actionable insights into the threats that organisations currently face. The data underpinning the report findings and advice comes from the analysis of information gathered from over 5.2 million cyberattacks detected and stopped by Blackberry cybersecurity solutions operating in production environments between September and December 2023. So, this data is rich and recent. 


The statistics in the report show that cybercriminals primarily targeted three industry sectors: Finance (50%), Healthcare (20%), and Government and Public Sector (18%). Let’s examine these three sectors more closely and highlight the trends that cybersecurity leaders should be aware of to protect their organisations.

 Reasons Why The Most Targeted Sectors Are In Cyber Criminal’s Sights

Why do the three most targeted sectors attract cyber criminals? The finance sector is the primary target due to the potential financial gain and sensitive customer data access. The complexity of IT systems in the finance sector is also a factor, as they are often harder to patch. Security updates usually don’t get deployed as quickly as we’d want to counter emerging vulnerabilities. 

The most used attack type in finance was common malware. However, the report shows that 21% of the attacks against finance used what is known as unique malware variants designed to avoid traditional security protections. Unique malware is any new or significantly modified existing malware designed to evade traditional detection methods. Addressing this requires adopting cybersecurity solutions that adapt to evolving threats rather than solely depending on predefined threat signatures.

The healthcare industry was the second most targeted sector due to the sensitive patient data it holds, which is often used as leverage by ransomware groups to extort payments. The proliferation of malware-as-a-service and ransomware-as-a-service tools has made it easier for attackers without much coding skills to carry out attacks, increasing the attack volume.

Government and Public Sector entities are the third most targeted group in the Blackberry data. Interestingly, they also faced the highest percentage (36%) of attacks using unique malware variants. The attacks against these government and public sector organisations came from various threat actors, ranging from cyber criminals looking for financial gain, to nation-states looking to disrupt operations, steal information, or for other economic and geopolitical motives. 


 Critial Infrastructure in Jeopardy

The latest BlackBerry Global Threat Intelligence Report adopted a new approach when analysing the most common targets of cyberattacks. A focus on critical infrastructure consolidated several key industry sectors that were traditionally reported separately into one section. The report authors did this to align the definitions of critical infrastructure with those of the USA Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Using this new categorisation method, over 62% of attacks against industries recorded by BlackBerry security solutions were against organisations operating critical infrastructure. 

Additionally, the data analysis now includes a separate overall grouping for commercial companies. The data shows that 33% of all attacks that Blackberry security solutions stopped during the reporting period were against businesses in the commercial sector.



 Key Takeaways For Business Leaders

You should download and read the free report, but the key takeaways to counter the threats highlighted in the report are below.

  1. Strong endpoint detection and response tools capable of blocking common and unique malware are essential. Behavioural analysis plays a vital role in identifying new threats.
  2. To minimise exposure to known vulnerabilities, it is essential to streamline software update and patching processes, especially in finance and other critical sectors.
  3. Bolster ransomware defences by implementing offline data backups, developing incident response plans, and providing employee training to identify and avoid phishing scams. Expect to be targeted.
  4. Organisations should keep up with the latest threat landscape trends relevant to their industry. Then, they should tailor their defences accordingly and keep staff informed of potential risks.
  5. Take a proactive approach to security, using threat hunting and adversarial simulations to detect and patch vulnerabilities before attackers can exploit them.

Final Thoughts

The threat landscape we all face will continue to change and become more complex. It is crucial for organisations and businesses set up to help them counter threats such as Halodata, Blackberry, and our other cybersecurity vendors and partners to stay current and work together to adopt a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity defence is a top-tier activity for all organisations operating in the current threat landscape. It has to be a consideration at the very highest levels of management. Halodata and our expert vendor and partner network are here to help organisations of all sizes design and implement the defences they need. Reach out to us today to discuss your needs.

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