IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Cyber attacks on manufacturing up 300% in a year

NTT also found that application-specific and web-application attacks accounted for two-thirds of all cyber crime

Hackers have taken advantage of the coronavirus crisis to launch cyber attacks against essential industries, according to NTT’s latest report.

The company’s 2021 Global Threat Intelligence Report (GTIR) revealed that the manufacturing, health care, and finance industries saw 300%, 200%, and 53% increases in worldwide attacks, respectively. These top three sectors accounted for a combined 62% of all attacks in 2020, up from just 11% in 2019.

The shift to remote working and workers accessing company infrastructure through client portals has also resulted in application-specific and web application attacks spiking. These have accounted for 67% of all attacks, more than doubling in the past two years.

Health care was the worst-hit sector, with 97% of all hostile activity targeted at the industry being web application or application-specific attacks.

The report found that business and professional services were the most attacked industries in the Americas, accounting for 26% of all attacks. The US accounted for two of the highest rates of reconnaissance activity of any country analyzed, with 64% of all hostile action targeting the technology industry as some form of surveillance. In education, 58% of all hostile activity was reconnaissance.

Kazu Yozawa, CEO of NTT’s Security division, said that last year his company predicted a surge in targeted, opportunistic attacks and unfortunately, this has proven all too true. 

“While these industries have done their best to maintain essential services throughout disruptive times, the fall in security standards when companies need them most is alarming. As services continue to move online and become increasingly digital to account for the new normal, organizations must be extra vigilant in upholding and maintaining best practices in their security,” he said.

Rodney Joffe, SVP and Fellow at Neustar told IT Pro it’s clear that cyber criminals have wasted no time taking advantage of this expanded threat landscape, attacking both the “front end” of applications — the APIs — as well as the applications behind them. 

Related Resource

Security awareness training strategies for account takeover protection

Why you need an inside-the-perimeter strategy for internal threats

Security awareness training strategies for account takeover protection - whitepaper from MimecastFree download

“Many of these attacks are opportunistic, a result of bot-driven reconnaissance or the “vertical cascade” method. In other, rarer cases, attacks are more targeted, involving hackers spending time to find a vulnerability in an organization’s web presence and exploiting it to steal customer or patient information, intellectual property, or finance credentials,” Joffe said.

The report also found that crypto-miners have replaced spyware as the world’s most common malware, but the use of certain malware variants against specific industries continues to evolve. crypto miners accounted for 41% of all detected malware in 2020. XMRig coin miner was the most common variant, representing nearly 82% of all coinminer activity.

Featured Resources

Join the 90% of enterprises accelerating to the cloud

Business transformation through digital modernisation

Free Download

Delivering on demand: Momentum builds toward flexible IT

A modern digital workplace strategy

Free download

Modernise the workforce experience

Actionable insights and an optimised experience for both IT and end users

Free Download

The digital workplace roadmap

A leader's guide to strategy and success

Free Download

Recommended

Best free malware removal tools 2022
Security

Best free malware removal tools 2022

22 Jun 2022
A guide to cyber security certification and training
Careers & training

A guide to cyber security certification and training

16 Jun 2022
What is shoulder surfing?
social engineering

What is shoulder surfing?

10 Jun 2022
CIAM buyer’s guide
Whitepaper

CIAM buyer’s guide

6 Jun 2022

Most Popular

Raspberry Pi launches next-gen Pico W microcontroller with networking support
Hardware

Raspberry Pi launches next-gen Pico W microcontroller with networking support

1 Jul 2022
Xerox CEO John Visentin dies unexpectedly aged 59
Careers & training

Xerox CEO John Visentin dies unexpectedly aged 59

30 Jun 2022
Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup
data breaches

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup

29 Jun 2022