VMware Sees Higher Attack Sophistication in Germany
August 7, 2020
Key survey findings from German respondents:
A major squeeze on SMEs in Germany
The research revealed that SMEs with between 501-1000 employees appear to be heavily targeted with survey respondents in this sector seeing an average 61% increase in attack volumes. These are companies that do not typically have the budgets or in-house resources of their larger counterparts, but who nevertheless have highly valuable data and digital assets that are ripe for theft or extortion. The survey found that they are facing a significantly greater increase in attack volumes and sophistication growth compared with smaller and larger organisations.
Among this size of organisation, fileless attacks are the most witnessed attack type, the survey found, 43%, compared with 20% on average.
Rick McElroy, Cyber Security Strategist at VMware Carbon Black, said: “Island-hopping is having an increasing breach impact. In combination with other third-party risks such as third-party apps and the supply chain, it’s clear the extended enterprise is under pressure.”
Complex multi-technology environments
German cybersecurity professionals said they are using an average of more than eleven different tools or consoles to manage their cyber defence programme, the survey found. This indicates a security environment that has evolved reactively as security tools have been adopted to tackle emerging threats.
Said McElroy: “Siloed, hard-to-manage environments hand the advantage to attackers from the start. Evidence shows attackers have the upper hand when security is not an intrinsic feature of the environment. As the cyber threat landscape reaches saturation, it is time for rationalisation, strategic thinking and clarity over security deployment.”
Supplemental COVID-19 survey
The latest research was supplemented with a survey on the impact COVID-19 has had on the attack landscape1. According to the supplemental survey of more than 1,000 respondents from the US, UK, Singapore and Italy, 91% of cybersecurity professionals said attack volumes have increased as more employees work from home. 92% said their organisations have experienced cyberattacks linked to COVID-19 malware.
Key findings from the supplemental COVID-19-focused survey:
Said McElroy: “The global situation with COVID-19 has put the spotlight on business resilience and disaster recovery planning. Those organisations that have delayed implementing multi-factor authentication appear to be facing challenges, as 29% of global respondents say the inability to implement MFA is the biggest threat to business resilience they are facing right now.”
Survey respondents were asked whether COVID-19 had exposed gaps in their disaster recovery plans, and to indicate the severity of those gaps. Their responses showed that:
Risks directly related to COVID-19 have also quickly emerged, the survey found. In addition to the 92% of respondents who said they experienced an increase in COVID-19-related malware, 89% reported increased IoT exposure, 89% said they had witnessed increased phishing attacks, and 88% had seen more attempts at spear phishing since COVID-19 began.
Said McElroy: “The 2020 survey results suggest that security teams must be working in tandem with business leaders to shift the balance of power from attackers to defenders. We must also collaborate with IT teams and work to remove the complexity that’s weighing down the current model. By building security intrinsically into the fabric of the enterprise – across applications, clouds and devices – teams can significantly reduce the attack surface, gain greater visibility into threats, and understand where security vulnerabilities exist.”