There was a 90% increase in publicly extorted victims of ransomware attacks in 2023.

According to Check Point Research’s 2024 Annual Security Report, such ransomware attacks now account for 10% of all malware detected by Check Point’s sensors.

Indeed, the Check Point Incident Response Team (CPIRT) observed that almost half of their cases involved ransomware, with the number of publicly-shamed victims soaring to about 5 000 – double the number for the previous year.

Key findings of the 2024 Security Report include:

* Ransomware Evolution: Attackers have refined their strategies, leveraging zero-day vulnerabilities and enhancing ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) with new extortion tactics. High-value targets are increasingly in the crosshairs, demonstrating the need for robust defence mechanisms.

* Targeting Edge Devices: The report identifies a growing trend in attacks on edge devices, highlighting the critical need for comprehensive security measures that encompass all network elements.

* Rise in Hacktivism: State-supported hacktivism has escalated, with notable increases in cyber activities tied to geopolitical conflicts. The use of destructive wipers for maximum impact underscores the evolving nature of cyber warfare.

Maya Horowitz, vice-president of research at Check Point, comments: “In an era of relentless innovation in cyber crime and accumulating tensions involving nation-state threat actors and hacktivists globally, organisations must adapt.

“Investing in stronger defences with robust AI-powered and cloud-delivered cyber security measures, and proactively fostering collaboration, is key to effectively safeguarding against these evolving dangers.”