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Ransomware attacks were the predominant cyber threats in 2020

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In 2020 the most predominant cyber threats were the ransomware attacks. For its part, the cybersecurity industry responded with machine learning and AI technology.

These are two of the findings from ThreatQuotient’s 2020 Threat Intel Recap and Look Ahead survey, which gathers responses from a panel of experts. Specifically, 45.9% of respondents confirmed that ransomware-as-a-service was the predominant threat in 2020, followed by international attacks originating in favor of a state, coronavirus pandemic-based scams, and phishing on the side.

Ransomware attacks were the most dangerous cyber threats last year

All of these threats are connected. “Ransomware campaigns have been executed by foreign state actors, and COVID-19 has been leveraged as a hook for phishing emails which are frequently a delivery mechanism for ransomware,” ThreatQuotient explains.

When it came to identifying the main threat intelligence trend employed over the past year, 46.9% pointed directly to machine learning, which allows “the value in technologies like ML/AI is to automate lower-level processes and enable analysts to focus their time on higher-level tasks.”

Looking ahead to 2021, it appears that the three areas most vulnerable to attacks will be mobile and IoT devices (22.2%), SaaS and cloud-based software (19.4%) and critical infrastructure. There will also be errors caused by employees, lack of knowledge and identity data traceability.

Ransomware attacks were the predominant cyber threats in 2020
Ransomware attacks were the predominant cyber threats in 2020

Sixty percent of those questioned by ThreatQuotient believe that greater automation and integration could excel in cyber threat intelligence this year. There is also continued reliance on machine learning and artificial intelligence and a reduction in silos.

“The need to reduce silos,” the company explains, “is important for all stakeholders to get the cyber threat information they need in an easily consumable format, especially for departments such as Risk and Fraud Management, which can often fall through the cracks.”

“the need for employee awareness and training across the entire organization,” he says, “to accelerate and keep pace with the latest campaigns and adversary techniques.”

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