Symantec 2013 threat report flags surge in targeted attacks

Small businesses are the most popular targets, security vendor claims.

Information security

Research by cyber security firm Symantec has shown a 42 per cent rise in targeted attacks during 2012 compared to the previous year.

The organisation's 18th annual Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) also showed SMBs are bearing the brunt of this increase in online criminal activity, with 31 per cent of targets falling into this category.

Symantec cited increased interest in SMBs among the cyber criminal community as they provide them with an attack route in to larger companies.

Cybercriminals are able to use a technique known as waterholing, where the website of a legitimate website - that the target is almost certain to visit - is compromised with malicious code, which then infects site visitors.

Andy Singer, director of product marketing at Symantec, said in a blog post: "Cybercriminals ... are attacking smaller businesses because they increasingly lack sufficient protection, and sometimes use them as a stepping stone to larger targets.

"'Watering hole' attacks infect 500 businesses in a single day."

The company said it has also noted a rise in attacks aimed at companies in the manufacturing sector, which has now moved to the top of the list of target industries for attack during 2012. This has been accompanied by a drop in the number of government targets, the organisation claimed.

Stephen Trilling, chief technology officer at Symantec, said: "This year's ISTR shows that cybercriminals aren't slowing down, and they continue to devise new ways to steal information from organisations of all sizes.

"The sophistication of attacks coupled with today's IT complexities, such as virtualisation, mobility and cloud, require organisations to remain proactive and use defence in depth' security measures to stay ahead of attacks."

Featured Resources

Unlocking collaboration: Making software work better together

How to improve collaboration and agility with the right tech

Download now

Four steps to field service excellence

How to thrive in the experience economy

Download now

Six things a developer should know about Postgres

Why enterprises are choosing PostgreSQL

Download now

The path to CX excellence for B2B services

The four stages to thrive in the experience economy

Download now

Recommended

Hackers leak data from dark web marketplace
cyber security

Hackers leak data from dark web marketplace

9 Apr 2021
How to encrypt files and folders in Windows 10
encryption

How to encrypt files and folders in Windows 10

9 Apr 2021
The definitive guide to IT security
Whitepaper

The definitive guide to IT security

9 Apr 2021
Evidence suggests REvil behind Harris Federation ransomware attack
ransomware

Evidence suggests REvil behind Harris Federation ransomware attack

9 Apr 2021

Most Popular

Microsoft is submerging servers in boiling liquid to prevent Teams outages
data centres

Microsoft is submerging servers in boiling liquid to prevent Teams outages

7 Apr 2021
Hackers are using fake messages to break into WhatsApp accounts
instant messaging (IM)

Hackers are using fake messages to break into WhatsApp accounts

8 Apr 2021
How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

8 Apr 2021