Cyber-attacks soar globally amid weak defences

NAIROBI. — There has been a rapid surge in cyber-attacks this year as governments and corporations dither in allocating adequate resources towards deterrent measures, according to a report released on Monday. The Cyber-attack Trends: Mid Year Report released in Nairobi revealed that the threat of cyber-crime has evolved rapidly, putting security of critical data owned by governments, businesses and individuals in peril.

It was compiled by the Israeli-based Check Point Software Technologies Limited, the largest cyber-security vendor in the world, to shed light on the evolving threat of cyber-attacks that could undermine global peace, stability and economic growth.

“This year has proved to be a lucrative year for cyber-crime. Prominent malware and attack methods continue to evolve, creatively bypassing existing security solutions,” said the report.

The report reaffirms the fragile nature of online transactions and data storage, thanks to sophisticated criminals, whose ability to hack and penetrate digital platforms is profound.

“So far, in 2017 cyber-attacks are occurring at a higher frequency than previous years. Recent infiltrations have demonstrated the agility, scale and persistence of an attack that criminals are capable of executing,” read the report.

“All regions have suffered from these large scale attacks, reinforcing the need for proactive solutions,” it added.

The report said that massive cyber attack campaigns such as Wannacry, Notpetya and Fireball vividly illustrate the evolving nature of modern day threats to cyber-space. Currently, Europe, Middle East and Africa have reported highest incidents of cyber-attacks at 56 percent followed by the Americas and the Asia Pacific region at 55 percent and 34 percent respectively.

The cyber-crime report warned that nation-state cyber weapons have found their way in the hands of criminals, who are now fuelling cyber-warfare on a global scale.

“As seen in several incidents throughout the first half of 2017, the theft and consequent availability of key nation-state hacking tools, combined with wide scale zero day vulnerabilities, now enable unskilled hackers to carry out highly sophisticated attack campaigns,” said the report.

It urges organisations to prioritise investments in strong cyber-defences and train their staff to improve their capacity to detect and ward off looming attacks.

“By understanding emerging threats and implementing the latest prevention technologies, organisations can create a solid cyber-security defensive posture,” the report noted. — Xinhua.

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