Remote working leads to increase in attacks on VPNs

Attacks against VPNs have seen an increase of more than 1,500 percent in the first quarter of this year according to a new report.

The latest Threat Landscape Report from managed security services company Nuspire shows a 1,916 percent increase in attacks against Fortinet's SSL-VPN and a 1,527 percent increase in Pulse Connect Secure VPN.

"2020 was the era of remote work and as the workforce adjusted, information technology professionals scrambled to support this level of remote activity by enabling a wide variety of remote connectivity methods," says J.R. Cunningham, Nuspire's chief security officer. "This added multiple new attack vectors that enabled threat actors to prey on organizations, which is what we started to see in Q1 and are continuing to see today."

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Among other findings are that Emotet botnet activity dropped by over 99 percent after the announcement of law enforcement agencies around the world seizing its infrastructure. ZeroAccess botnet activity surged during one week by 619,460 percent before dropping down at the end of the quarter. Previous threat reports show ZeroAccess usually appears with massive bursts of activity before going quiet, sometimes for months before re-emerging again.

Exploit activity shows a 21.76 percent decrease compared to the end of last year. 69.73 percent of all exploit activity witnessed in Q1 was down to SMB Login Brute Force attempts. These attacks came in a very active wave near the end of the quarter. Organizations should be aware of their exposed services and ensure mitigations are in place to prevent these types of attack.

You can get the full report, along with tips on protecting your organization from threats, on the Nuspire site.

Image credit: Denys Prykhodov / Shutterstock

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