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

Key considerations for implementing secure telework at scale

Identifying the security risks and advanced requirements of a remote workforce

Download now

The State of Salesforce 2020

Your guide to getting the most from Salesforce

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Rethink your cybersecurity strategy for the new world

5 steps to secure the enterprise and be fit for a flexible future

Download now

Recommended

Russia hacked Liam Fox's personal email to steal trade documents
phishing

Russia hacked Liam Fox's personal email to steal trade documents

4 Aug 2020
British teenager charged over Twitter hack
hacking

British teenager charged over Twitter hack

3 Aug 2020
Mid-year report says vulnerabilities up 22% in 2020
hacking

Mid-year report says vulnerabilities up 22% in 2020

30 Jul 2020
BlackRock banking Trojan targets Android apps
trojans

BlackRock banking Trojan targets Android apps

27 Jul 2020

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
Police use of facial recognition ruled unlawful in the UK
privacy

Police use of facial recognition ruled unlawful in the UK

11 Aug 2020