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11
Nov

Hack attacks spiked by 260% in the first nine months of 2020

There has been a 260% jump in cyberattacks using encrypted channels to bypass legacy security controls in the first three quarters of the year, according to new research from Zscaler.

The cloud security company sourced insights from over 6.6 billion encrypted threats across the Zscaler cloud from January through September 2020 over encrypted channels.

Healthcare proved to be the most exposed sector, with 25.5% of the threats targeting the sector. It was followed by finance and insurance where that figure stood at 18.3%.

Those sectors were followed by manufacturing, government and services in that order.

The researchers also noted a surge in ransomware attacks at the beginning of the pandemic, with attacks growing five-fold in March. Zscaler also recorded almost 200 million phishing attacks during the period.

“Cybercriminals are shamelessly attacking critical industries like healthcare, government and finance during the pandemic, and this research shows how risky encrypted traffic can be if not inspected,” said Deepen Desai, CISO and vice president of security research at Zscaler.

“Attackers have significantly advanced the methods they use to deliver ransomware, for example, inside of an organisation utilising encrypted traffic. The report shows a 500 per cent increase in ransomware attacks over SSL, and this is just one example to why SSL inspection is so important to an organisation’s defence.”

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