Check Point Software Technologies has published the first instalment of its 2019 Security Report, highlighting the main tactics cyber-criminals are using to attack organisations worldwide across all industries.

The first instalment of the 2019 Security Report reveals the key malware trends and techniques observed by Check Point researchers during the past year.

Among the highlights is the fact that cryptominers dominated the malware landscape.

Cryptominers occupied the top four most prevalent malware types and impacted 37% of organisations globally in 2018. Despite a fall in the value of all cryptocurrencies, 20% of companies continue to be hit by cryptomining attacks every week.

Cryptominers have also highly evolved recently to exploit high profile vulnerabilities and to evade sandboxes and security products in order to expand their infection rates.

From a local perspective, cryptominers also dominated the malware landscape in 2018. Organisations in three of the key counties in Africa were highly impacted by Coinhive, which is a crypto-miner:

* 41,29% of organisations in South Africa;

* 69,96% of organisations in Kenya; and

* 68,52% of organisations in Nigeria.

The report also found that 33% of organisations worldwide were hit by mobile malware, with the leading three malware types targeting the Android OS.

2018 saw several cases where mobile malware was pre-installed on devices and apps available from app stores that were actually malware in disguise.

Multi-purpose botnets launched a range of attacks during the year. Bots were the third most common malware type, with 18% of organisations hit by bots which are used to launch DDoS attacks and spread other malware. Bot infections were instrumental in nearly half (49%) of organisations experiencing a DDoS attack in 2018.

During 2018, the rate of ransomware attacks fell sharply, impacting just 4% of organisations globally.

“From the meteoric rise in cryptomining to massive data breaches and DDoS attacks, there was no shortage of cyber-disruption caused to global organisations over the past year. Threat actors have a wide range of options available to target and extract revenues from organisations in any sector, and the first instalment of the 2019 Security Report highlights the increasingly stealthy approaches they are currently using,” says Peter Alexander, chief marketing officer of Check Point Software Technologies.

“These multi-vector, fast-moving, large-scale Gen V attacks are becoming more and more frequent, and organisations need to adopt a multi-layered cybersecurity strategy that prevents these attacks from taking hold of their networks and data. The 2019 Security Report offers knowledge, insights and recommendations on how to prevent these attacks.”