Trend Micro, a company specialising in information security, announced in a recently released semi-annual report that it addressed 12.4 million email cyber-threats in Egypt in the first half (H1) of 2020.
The report also revealed that Trend Micro solutions blocked nearly 1 million URL links, preventing users from accessing them.
It indicated that over 235,000 malware attacks were detected in Egypt, and more than 6.8 million malicious mobile applications were found. At the global level, 27.8 billion cyber threats were blocked in H1 of 2020, with nearly 93% of all of these occurring via email.
The report showed a shift in the strategies used by cyber criminals, who have moved their focus during H1 of 2020 towards exploiting the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The risks that companies are exposed to have been exacerbated due to the security vulnerabilities created by remote working.
Business e-mail compromise (BEC) attacks have also increased by 18%, which can partly be attributed to fraudsters looking to exploit home-based employees more vulnerable to social engineering threats.
Of all the threats that occurred during H1 of 2020, ransomware was a constant feature. Although the number of detected ransomware threats decreased, Trend Micro saw a 36% increase in ransomware families.
The company also noticed a 16% increase in vulnerabilities detected in industrial control systems during H1 of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. This may create significant challenges for owners of smart factories and other organisations that use Internet of Things (IoT) environments.
In this regard, Ashraf Serag, General Manager of Trend Micro Egypt, said that the pandemic has slowed down many parts of our lives during H1 of 2020.
At the same time, it has not slowed cyber criminal activity, and as a result, IT leaders must adopt different cyber-security strategies to adapt to the increasing threats in the new world.
This requires the protection of remote machines, cloud systems, user data and virtual private networks “VPN” systems, in addition to holding updated training courses on the subject.
It will also need a transformation in the workforce affected by the new developments into a more effective first line of defence.