The latest newsletter from security company SonicWALL contains some frightening statistics about the scale of attacks that we face. What is scary about the numbers in the table below is not the absolute values but the rate of increase over 2017, with the attack level roughly doubling in one year. 

Ransomware spelt out on Keyboard

SonicWALL statistics for threats per SonicWALL customer, January – June 2018 

  • 14,236 malware attacks (+102% over 2017) 
  • 431 ransomware attacks (+229%) 
  • 4.5 million intrusion attempts (+63%)  
  • 623 encrypted threats (+95%) 
  • 2,033 phishing attacks  
  • 133,000 new attack variants (739/day) detected by Capture ATP  
  • 12,300+ never-before-seen attack variants identified by RTDMI 

The most popular attack, malware, is probably the least worrying. Malware covers a multitude of sins and there are several layers of software available to protect against it (for example, Riverbank SecurePC).  

It is the second stat that we need to worry about the most: ransomware. Ransomware is the one that is most likely to catch the busy executive as they wade through a daily load of dozens of emails. It’s all too easy to open up yet another invoice without thinking about it, or to click on a link from a supplier before realising that it wasn’t actually from that supplier. 

Concluding the list of threats from SonicWALL is some good news. New technologies that we are currently rolling out to Riverbank clients enable SonicWALL devices to test suspicious code (Capture ATP) and to interrogate encrypted Internet traffic passing through the firewall. This is uncovering attacks that were previously invisible. One example is the detection of malicious software linked to a fake invoice, which was itself wrapped up in a Word document that in turn was embedded within a Java software update. This new ability is rightly described as “multiple layers of packaging and obfuscation” (source: https://www.mysonicwall.com/SonicAlert/searchresults.aspx?ev=article&id=1136). 

If you would like help to cut through layers of complexity and mystery, Riverbank is here to help (enquiries@riverbank.co.uk or call 01235 426700).