Global Cyber-Attack Volume Surges 38% in 2022

Security

The number of cyber-attacks recorded last year was nearly two-fifths (38%) greater than the total volume observed in 2021, according to Check Point.

The security vendor claimed the increase was largely due to a surge in attacks on healthcare organizations, which saw the largest year-on-year (YoY) increase (74%), and the activities of smaller, more agile hacking groups.

Overall, attacks reached an all-time high in Q4 with an average of 1168 weekly attacks per organization. The average weekly figures for the year were highest for education sector organizations (2314), government and military (1661) and healthcare (1463).

Threat actors appear to have capitalized on gaps in security created by the shift to remote working and studying, according to Omer Dembinsky, Check Point data group manager.

“The ransomware ecosystem is continuing to evolve and grow with smaller, more agile criminal groups that form to evade law enforcement,” he argued.

“Second, hackers are widening their aim to target business collaboration tools such as Slack, Teams, OneDrive and Google Drive with phishing exploits. These make for a rich source of sensitive data given that most organizations’ employees continue to work remotely.”

Dembinsky predicted that AI tools like ChatGPT would help to fuel a continued surge in attacks in 2023 by making it quicker and easier for bad actors to generate malicious code and emails.

Recorded cyber-attacks on US organizations grew 57% YoY in 2022, while the figure was even higher in the UK (77%) .

This chimes with data from UK ISP Beaming, which found that 2022 was the busiest year on record for attacks.

It recorded 687,489 attempts to breach UK businesses in 2022 – the equivalent of one attack every 46 seconds.

October–December 2022 was the busiest quarter since Beaming began tracking these stats in 2016. Its customers experienced 177,228 cyber-attacks each, on average, during the period.

“Most cyber-attacks use automated scripts that scour the internet for the weakest links,” warned Beaming managing director, Sonia Blizzard.

“Businesses that haven’t improved their online resilience in the last year or so are sitting ducks for hackers.”

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