Story image

Food industry hit hardest by malware in 2017 - report

07 May 18

Would you like a side of malware with your meal? Businesses in the food industry were hit hardest by various types of malware in 2017 – a trend that is relatively unchanged from the previous year.

Cylance recently released the results of its 2017 Threat Report, which says that of its customers in sectors including food, hospitality, healthcare, products, and others, the food industry took the brunt of half (50%) of malware attacks.

Cylance customers in hospitality trailed behind (19%), followed by healthcare (13%), products (11%) and all others (7%).

Last year the company detected a 13.4% increase in the amount of attacks seen in the Cylance ecosystem, which equates to prevention of more than 3900 unique attacks per enterprise worldwide.

The company also names the ‘top ten malware families’ from 2017, which includes WannaCry, Upatre, Cerber, Emotet, Locky, Petya, Ramnit, Fareit, PolyRansom and Terdot/Zloader.

“The attacks and threats of 2017 are a reminder of the ingenuity and destructive capabilities of threat actors,” comments Cylance head of security research, Aditya Kapoor.

“All indicators point to a perfect storm with the explosion in the number and types of endpoints requiring protection, the rise in the diversity of attack types, and the ease with which they can be accessed and weaponised.”

As one of the most publicised cyber threats of 2017 WannaCry is at the top of the list.

“Many people have felt the impact of WannaCry — from late nights spent rebuilding infected machines to a heightened sense of insecurity,” the report says.

It affected 58% of the company’s customers in the food industry, 25% in manufacturing, and 9% in healthcare.

Ransomware as an entire family also affected 58% of healthcare organisations in 2017. Cylance says that ransomware is here to stay.

The report says that although it has been reported that there may be several hundred WannaCry variants in the wild, this may not actually be the case.

“The clear majority appear to have been either doctored versions of the original variant, primarily modified by researches to alter the kill-switch domain, or are subcomponents that have been extracted/carved from ondisk or in-memory images, leading to differing hash values but identical functionality.”

“Ransomware may not be what it seems. The WannaCry outbreak delivered a ransomware payload that rendered systems unusable around the world. That said, the ransomware itself was very ineffective when it came to generating revenue for the bad actors. Nearly every machine that was compromised could not be recovered since the bad actor’s ransomware site, where the infected user could pay the bitcoin ransom, did not actually deliver the necessary encryption key to the user,” the report continues.

“It’s critical that companies are aware of the threats, keep up-to-date with patches, and use defenses that protect against constantly evolving malware,” comments Cylance CTO Rahul Kashyap.

Cylance says there are a number of reliable security ‘standbys’ that can protect customers.

  • Keeping hardware and software updated
  • Wisely managing access and permissions within the environment
  • Strictly limiting and monitoring remote access
  • Training personnel to identify attempts at social engineering and phishing
  • Maintaining strong physical security over vulnerable infrastructure
  • Knowledge sharing
  • The use of AI and machine learning rather than signature-based antivirus and blacklisting.
Ramping up security with next-gen firewalls
The classic firewall lacked the ability to distinguish between different kinds of web traffic.
Gartner names LogRhythm leader in SIEM solutions
Security teams increasingly need end-to-end SIEM solutions with native options for host- and network-level monitoring.
Cylance makes APIs available in endpoint detection offering
Extensive APIs enable security teams to more efficiently view, enrich, and contextualise real-time intelligence collected at the endpoint to keep systems secure.
SolarWinds adds SDN monitoring support to network management portfolio
SolarWinds announced a broad refresh to its network management portfolio, as well as key enhancements to the Orion Platform. 
JASK prepares for global rollout of their AI-powered ASOC platform
The JASK ASOC platform automates alert investigations, supposedly freeing the SOC analyst to do what machines can’t. 
Pitfalls to avoid when configuring cloud firewalls
Flexibility and granularity of security controls is good but can still represent a risk for new cloud adopters that don’t recognise some of the configuration pitfalls.
Securing hotel technology to protect customer information
Network security risks increase exponentially as hotels look to incorporate newer technologies to support a range of IoT devices, including smart door locks.
Why total visibility is the key to zero trust
Over time, the basic zero trust model has evolved and matured into what Forrester calls the Zero Trust eXtended (ZTX) Ecosystem.