Attack traffic up 32 percent in 2018

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Levels of attack traffic observed by F-Secure's network of decoy honeypots in 2018 increased by 32 percent over the previous year, and increased fourfold in the latter half of 2018 compared with the first half of the year.

The report suggests that many companies may not have the visibility they need to catch attacks that make it past preventative measures like firewalls and endpoint protection.

F-Secure's survey finds that 22 percent of companies didn't detect a single attack over a 12-month period. 20 percent of respondents detected just a single attack during that time frame, and 31 percent detected between two and five attacks.

But F-Secure's detection and response solutions detected 15 threats in a single month at a company with 1300 endpoints, and seven threats in a single month at a company with 325 endpoints.

"Today's threats are completely different from 10 or even 5 years ago. Preventative measures and strategies won’t stop everything anymore, so I've no doubt that many of the companies surveyed don’t have a full picture of what’s going on with their security," says F-Secure's vice president of cyber security products research and development Leszek Tasiemski. "Many organizations don’t really value security until an incident threatens to cost them a lot of money, so I’m not completely surprised that there are companies detecting zero attacks over the course of a year."

Other findings of the report include that Telnet is the most commonly targeted TCP port, which is likely the result of increasing numbers of compromised Internet of Things devices searching for additional vulnerable devices.

Companies working in finance and ICT detected the most attacks, while organizations in healthcare and manufacturing detected the fewest. The largest source and destination of observed attack traffic is US-based IP addresses.

"We find that companies running detection and response solutions tend to have a better grasp of what they're doing right and what they're doing wrong. Ideally, the visibility these solutions have will show companies that they’re blocking most of the standard, opportunistic attacks, like the ones our public honeypots usually attract. But these solutions will also pick up what preventative measures like firewalls or endpoint protection miss, which makes detection and response a pretty invaluable part of a healthy security strategy," concludes Tasiemski.

You can find out more on the F-Secure blog.

Photo Credit: Jirsak/Shutterstock

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