The 5 main cyber threats afflicting Europe in 2020

Cybersecurity has become a necessity over the past decades. Global digitization, both personally and professionally, has opened up a range of possibilities, but also risks. For this reason, and in celebration of Cyber ​​Security Month that ended yesterday, Check Point launched the “Do your part. #BeCyberSmart ”, in order to make users aware of their protection in the virtual environment, a task in which we all play a key role. Check Point also presents data relating to the level of cybersecurity present in Europe taken from its Threat Intelligence Report.

“Little by little, more and more aspects of our life are totally connected to digital. We deposit a lot of information in tools connected to the Internet, but we are still little aware of the importance of protecting this data, in implementing cybersecurity strategies that will enable a safer online experience, ”says Rui Duro, National Director of Check Point for Portugal. “For these reasons, and as part of the month of cybersecurity, we wanted to launch our campaign” Do Your Part #BeCyberSmart “. The number of connected IoT devices is increasing, we must adopt a” Smart “attitude, commit in a preventive approach, a key measure for a secure digital life ”, concludes the manager.

Email, a widespread evil

According to the Check Point Threat Intelligence Report, over the past 6 months, European businesses have suffered an average of 333 cyberattacks per week. Email is the main attack vector for cybercriminals, with 90% of malicious files spread through email. Every second malicious file is a Word document with the extension .doc, followed by Excel documents ending in .exe. In June, Check Point unveiled a malicious campaign in which hackers sent documents that appeared to be resumes to spread different types of malware. These files were emailed as Exel attachments which, when opened, forced victims to access the content. After consenting, the Zloader malware was downloaded, a banking Trojan designed to steal users’ personal information and credentials. This would allow cybercriminals to carry out illegal financial transactions on behalf of the victim.

What does the current cyber threat landscape in Europe look like?

According to a Verizon study, phishing is responsible for 90% of cyber attacks, although the number of malicious viruses transferred via text messages, emails, and more, is also very high. Check Point has highlighted the top 5 threats to cybersecurity in Europe, according to its Threat Intelligence report.

Cyber ​​threats linked to the pandemic: The coronavirus pandemic is by far the most used subject to launch malicious campaigns. The consequences of this virus have affected all aspects of our lives, including the current cyber threat scenario, in which we have seen an increase in the registration of virus-related domains designed for phishing attacks. Additionally, many countries have implemented infection scouting apps, allowing cybercriminals more targeted access to potential targets. Ransomware: Ransomware, a type of computer virus that masquerades as another file or program to block access to information, is nothing new among cyber threats. However, recently it has evolved considerably, now using a new type of attack, called “double extortion” or, in Portuguese, double extortion. Using this new variant, cybercriminals extract files before encrypting computers, threatening their publication if a ransom is not paid. Hospitals and institutions related to the medical sector have become the main target, given the large amount of sensitive information they have and the low levels of protection they have. Threats on mobile devices: Smartphones, laptops, tablets, wearables, etc. Every day there are more and more IoT devices around us. As a result, the attack surface available to cybercriminals increases and they develop new vectors of infection for the mobile ecosystem. Hackers are also taking advantage of the decentralization of work environments and the use of laptops for remote work. The new generation of cyber threats are distinguished by features that prevent detection and allow delivery through mobile applications. Attacks directed at the cloud: The cloud has grown in importance, as more companies move their data to cloud environments. However, the need to achieve this migration or to create from scratch infrastructures allowing teleworking so quickly means that the essential security conditions are not guaranteed. In fact, according to Check Point’s Cloud Security Report 2020, 52% of organizations believe the risk of security breaches is greater in cloud environments than in enterprise environments. Cybercriminals take advantage of this reality to infiltrate work networks, access sensitive information, disseminate malware campaigns, etc. The Digital Battlefield: Also known as the “Cyber ​​Cold War”, this is one of the biggest trends we see today due to the increased intensity and frequency of criminal activity present in digital. At a time when traditional information gathering strategies are not as effective, the use of cyber tools has grown considerably. One of the main goals is to control collective thinking. This is the reason why hackers focus on filtering and extracting sensitive information, critical infrastructure or even political and electoral processes. Help us grow, visit our Facebook page and leave your taste, to have access to all the information first hand. And if you liked the article, don’t forget to share it with your friends. Also follow us on Google News, select us among your favorites by clicking on the star.

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