SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

New report delves deep into cybercrime - and forecasts its future

By Ashton Young
Fri 6 Apr 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Trustwave recently published the comprehensive '2018 Trustwave Security Report' that provides encyclopaedic insights into both the current and future cybercrime landscape.

The report is now in its tenth year and opens with a famous quote from Bob Dylan – “The times they are-a changin’.” This refers both to Trustwave (the original report was just 11 pages long, while this year’s edition comes in at a hefty 105) and cybercrime.

According to Trustwave, in 2008 the biggest threats were opportunistic – criminals distributed their attacks indiscriminately to steal money, card data, login credentials and other information from as many victims as possible.

10 years later and now we have sophisticated assaults with targeted attacks and advanced persistent threats from criminal groups – and sometimes nation states.

The 2018 Trustwave Security Report was derived from the analysis of billions of logged security and compromise events worldwide, hundreds of hands-on data-beach investigations, and internal research.

Findings depict improvement in areas such as intrusion to detection, however, also showed increased sophistication in malware obfuscation, social engineering tactics, and advanced persistent threats.

Some of the key highlights from the report include:

  • Most data breaches occur in North America and retail Despite exhibiting a slight decline from the previous year, North America led the pack in data breaches investigated by Trustwave with 43 percent, followed by Asia Pacific on 30 percent, Europe, Middle East and Africa on 23 percent, and Latin America on 4 percent. The retail sector suffered the most breach incidences at 16.7 percent followed by the finance and insurance industry at 13.1 percent and hospitality at 11.9 percent.
  • Compromise and environment type matters Half of the incidents investigated involved corporate and internal networks (up from 43 percent in 2016) followed by eCommerce environments at 30 percent. Incidents impacting point-of-sale (POS) systems decreased by more than a third to 20 percent of the total. This is reflective of increased attack sophistication and targeting of larger service providers and franchise head offices and less on smaller high-volume targets in previous years.
  • Social engineering tops methods of compromise In corporate network environments, phishing and social engineering at 55 percent was the leading method of compromise followed by malicious insiders at 13 percent and remote access at 9 percent. This indicates the human factor remains the greatest hurdle for corporate cybersecurity teams. “CEO fraud”, a social engineering scam encouraging executives to authorise fraudulent money transactions continues to increase.
  • All web applications found to be vulnerable One hundred percent of web applications tested displayed at least one vulnerability with 11 as the median number detected per application. 85.9 percent of web application vulnerabilities involved session management allowing an attacker to eavesdrop on a user session to commandeer sensitive information.
  • Web attacks becoming more targeted Targeted web attacks are becoming prevalent and much more sophisticated. Many breach incidents show signs of careful preplanning by cybercriminals probing for weak packages and tools to exploit. Cross-site scripting (XSS) was involved in 40 percent of attack attempts, followed by SQL Injection (SQLi) at 24 percent, Path Traversal at 7 percent, Local File Inclusion (LFI) at 4 percent, and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) at 3 percent.
  • Service providers are now in the crosshairs Of great concern is a marked increase at 9.5 percent in compromises targeting businesses that provides IT services including web-hosting providers, POS integrators and help-desk providers. A compromise of just one provider opens the gates to a multitude of new targets. In 2016, service provider compromises did not register in the statistics.
  • Large disparity when breaches are detected internally versus externally The median time between intrusion and detection for externally detected compromises was 83 days in 2017, a stark increase from 65 days in 2016. Median time between intrusion and detection for compromises discovered internally however, dropped to zero days in 2017 from 16 days in 2016, meaning businesses discovered the majority of breaches the same day they happened.
  • Payment card data is still king Down from the previous year, payment card data at 40 percent still reigns supreme in terms of data types targeted in a breach. The figure is split between magnetic stripe data at 22 percent and card-not-present (CNP) at 18 percent. Surprisingly, incidents targeting hard cash is on the rise at 11 percent mostly due to fraudulent ATM transaction breaches enabled by compromise of account management systems at financial institutions.
  • Database and network security, a year of critical patching The number of vulnerabilities patched in five of the most common database products was 119, down from 170 in 2016. Fifty three percent of computers with SMBv1 enabled were vulnerable to MS17-010 “ETERNALBLUE” exploits used to disseminate the WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware attacks.

Given the report is in its tenth year, Trustwave also provided an overview of how cybercrime has advanced in the last decade.

Some of the key findings included a sharp surge in vulnerabilities after remaining relatively level from 2008 to 2011. This is believed to be a result of the huge increase in users of the Internet during that time, as well as technically savvy security researchers (as well as criminals) actively looking for vulnerabilities every day.

Starting in 2006, exploit kits began their boom but by 2016 there were a number of arrests as well as the disappearance of the top three kits, which has seen the market sit dormant ever since. However, Trustwave warns to look for resurgence as serious players eventually surface to drive new demand in the once lucrative market.

And after accounting for more than 87.2 percent of all incoming mail monitored by Trustwave, spam has declined each year to now sit at less than 40 percent.

Trustwave chief marketing officer Steve Kelley says their threat intelligence and investigations along with a retrospective view of the last ten years has unequivocally exposed cybercriminals and their attacks are becoming more methodical and organised.

“As long as cybercrime remains profitable, we will continue to see threat actors quickly evolving and adapting methods to penetrate networks and steal data,” says Kelley.

“Security is as much a ‘people’ issue as it is a technology issue. To stay on par with determined adversaries, organisations must have access to security experts who can think and operate like an attacker while making best use of the technologies deployed.”

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
LogRhythm updates SIEM Platform with latest innovations
LogRhythm has announced the launch of version 7.9 of the LogRhythm SIEM Platform and updates to LogRhythm NDR and LogRhythm UEBA.
Story image
Ransomware
Examining the future of ransomware threats with Vectra’s CTO
As customers' valuable data move to the cloud, so will ransomware. What is the current landscape and what do we need to know?
Story image
Apple
Jamf introduces new content filtering solution for education providers
Jamf has announced the launch of Jamf Safe Internet, a new offering that looks to deliver a safe online experience to students while offering better management options for admins.
Story image
Cybersecurity
How organisations can mitigate IoT and IIoT security risks
IoT and IIoT come with inherent risks because they are often deployed faster than they can be secured, putting organisations in danger of cyber threats. Here are tips on how to mitigate those risks.
Story image
Network Security
Netskope announces zero trust network access updates
Customers can now apply zero trust principles across a range of hybrid work security needs, including SaaS, IaaS, private applications, and endpoint devices.
Story image
Motorola Solutions
Motorola Solutions deploys communication system to 5th Japanese airport
Motorola Solutions with its partner, Nippon Airport Radio Services deployed the mission critical communication system to Kansai.
Story image
Oracle Cloud
Commvault, Oracle to deliver Metallic Data Management as a Service
"We are excited to partner with Commvault and enable our customers to restore and recover their most mission-critical cloud data."
Story image
WatchGuard Technologies
Ransomware volume doubled 2021 total by end of Q1 2022
Ransomware detections in the first quarter of this year doubled the total volume reported for 2021, according to a new report. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Email threats spike 101%, remains a top attack vector
"Each year we see innovation in the threat landscape, but each year email remains a major threat to organisations."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Significant security concerns resulting from open source software ubiquity
"The risk is real, and the industry must work closely together in order to move away from poor open source or software supply chain security practices."
Story image
Cybersecurity
FIDO Alliance releases guidelines for optimising UX with FIDO Security Keys
The new guidelines aim to accelerate multi-factor authentication deployment and adoption with FIDO security keys.
Story image
Solutions
Progress launches latest version of network visibility solution
In Flowmon 12 network solution, Progress has expanded its support for public cloud provider flow log monitoring and launched new features.
Story image
Digital Transformation
What CISOs think about cyber security, visibility and cloud
Seeking to uncover the minds of CISOs and CIOs across Asia Pacific, my company recently asked Frost & Sullivan to take a snapshot of cloud adoption behaviour in the region.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Threat actors ramp up their social engineering attacks
As people get better at identifying potential threats in their inbox, threat actors must evolve their methods. Their new M.O? Social engineering.
Story image
Malware
Colt launches new SASE Gateway solution with Versa
Colt Technology Services’ customers now have access to an integrated full SASE solution that brings together SD WAN and SSE features.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Without trust, your security team is dead in the water
The rise of cyberattacks has increased the need for sound security that works across any type of business, but with any change, buy-in is essential. Airwallex explains why.
Story image
Ransomware
Secureworks reveals new information on BRONZE STARLIGHT threat group
New research from Secureworks has uncovered new information on the Chinese threat group BRONZE STARLIGHT and how they are using targeted ransomware to initiate complicated attacks.
Story image
Trend Micro
5G network projects driven by improving security and privacy
Trend Micro's new study reveals the prospect of improved security and privacy capabilities are the main motivations behind private 5G wireless network projects.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Zscaler, AWS accelerate onramp to the cloud with zero trust
Zscaler has announced an extension to its relationship with Amazon Web Services, as well as innovations built on Zscaler's Zero Trust architecture.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Aqua Security, CIS create software supply chain security guide
Aqua Securityand the Center for Internet Security have together released the industry’s first formal guidelines for software supply chain security.
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CrowdStrike
Scott Jarkoff joins us today to discuss current trends in the cyber threat landscape, and the reporting work CrowdStrike is doing to prevent further cyber harm.
Story image
Internet of Things
Domino's Pizza: A blueprint for secure enterprise IoT deployment
Increasingly, organisations are embracing smart technologies to underpin innovations that can enhance safety and productivity in every part of our lives, from industrial systems, utilities, and building management to various forms of business enablement.
Story image
Compliance
SentinelOne integrates with Torq to empower security teams
"With Torq, security teams can extend the power of SentinelOne to systems across the organisation to benefit from a proactive security posture.”
Story image
Vendor
Forescout reveals top vulnerabilities impacting OT vendors
Forescout’s Vedere Labs has disclosed OT: ICEFALL, naming 56 vulnerabilities affecting devices from 10 operational technology vendors.
Story image
Internet of Things
ManageEngine wins big in IDC MarketScape assessment
ManageEngine's Endpoint Central service has been recognised as a leader by IDC MarketScape in several categories including Internet of Things device deployments and UEM software for SMEs.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Juniper study reveals top AI trends in APAC region
Juniper's research shows an increase in enterprise artificial intelligence adoption over the last 12 months is yielding tangible benefits to organisations.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Tech and data’s role in the changing face of compliance
Accenture's study found that 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree new technologies such as AI and cloud make compliance easier.
Story image
Gartner
Gartner's top recommendations for security leaders
"Leaders now recognise that major disruption is only one crisis away. We can’t control it, but we can evolve our thinking, philosophy, program and architecture.”
Story image
Infosys
Preparing for the digital decade with the right workforce strategies
For a decade that started under the pall of the pandemic, the 2020s is poised to end with a bang with the digital economy swelling to a high across the world.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Zero trust security adoption rises 27% in just two years
A survey of WAN managers has revealed that multi-factor authentication and single sign-on are the top zero trust features implemented.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Cyber Criminal
Identity and access: the fight is on
Blue team defenders are used to protecting our data, applications, and users with access controls and other security mechanisms, which is why attacks like this are especially challenging when they target identity and access control systems.
SonicWall
Find out how you and your business can prevent being caught out by everything from ransomware to cryptojacking.
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity
Vulnerable APIs costing businesses billions every year
Large companies are particularly vulnerable to the security risks associated with exposed or unprotected APIs as they accelerate digital transformation.  
Story image
Remote Working
RDP attacks on the rise, Kaspersky experts offer advice
"Given that remote work is here to stay, we urge companies to seriously look into securing their remote and hybrid workforce to protect their data."
Story image
Research
New study reveals 51% of employees using unauthorised apps
The research shows that 92% of employees and managers in large enterprises want full control over applications, but they don't have it.
Story image
Compliance
Stock security features inadequate in face of rising risk
"Organisations must proactively find ways of identifying unseen vulnerabilities and should take a diligent, holistic approach to cybersecurity."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Delinea’s Joseph Carson recognised with OnCon Icon Award
Delinea chief security scientist and advisory CISO Joseph Carson has been recognised as a Top 50 Information Security Professional in the 2022 OnCon Icon Awards.
Story image
Ransomware
Businesses unprepared to defend against ransomware attacks
Ransomware attacks continue to impact organisations worldwide with high costs, but businesses are still largely unprepared.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Vectra AI named as AWS security competency partner
Threat detection and response company Vectra AI has announced that it has become an Amazon Web Services Security Competency Partner.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Eight top DevSecOps trends to support IT innovation in 2022
The use of DevSecOps practices is growing, as it is increasingly seen as the best way to produce high-quality and secure code. So what are the current trends?
Story image
Secure access service edge / SASE
Cloudflare adds new capabilities to zero trust SASE platform
New features for Cloudflare One include email security protection, data loss prevention tools, cloud access security broker, and private network discovery.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Security driving customer identity & access management adoption
"CIAM allows businesses to embed a secure identity layer into their consumer and SaaS applications, facilitating secure, seamless end user experiences."