Cyber-protection firm Acronis has released its 2020 Acronis Cyberthreats Report, highlighting the current threat landscape and projections for the coming year. As per the report, India encountered the third-highest number of malware attacks after the US and Japan, and 1,168 malware detections were encountered per 1,000 clients in a month. Furthermore, the report revealed that maze ransomware detections were reported at 7.8 percent in the third quarter of 2020, and remote workers and managed service providers were cyberattackers. Furthermore, data exfiltration outpaced data encryption, both in India and across the globe.

Acronis’s report also revealed that 56 percent of Indian companies reported that their IT costs had increased significantly to counter attacks in the past months – exactly two times the global average.

Moreover, India demonstrated the highest video conferencing attacks, with 66 percent of local companies reporting having encountered videoconferencing attacks. The country has also reported twice as many attacks as any other country, followed by the US and the UAE, and 62 percent of companies in India reported struggling with phishing attempts.

Based on the security challenges amplified due to a mass shift to work from home (WFH) during the COVID-19 pandemic, the report states that 2021 will herald serious and aggressive cybercrime activity with criminals pivoting their attacks from data encryption to data exfiltration.

As per the report, ransomware continues to be the leading threat in India, with Maze ransomware accounting for nearly half of all known cases in 2020.

However, the report points to a growing trend of cybercriminals trying to maximize their financial gain. The data thief threatens to publicly release sensitive stolen files if victims do not agree to pay up.

The firm’s analysts found that more than 1,000 companies globally had their data leaked following a ransomware attack in 2020.

Speaking about the issue, Stas Protassov, Acronis co-founder and Technology President, stated that 2020 posed many challenges to IT professionals, organizations, and service providers, adding that the year saw bad actors quickly adjusting how they attack the new IT landscape.

According to Protassov, by analyzing the activity, attacks, and trends, they have been able to detect and present their findings hoping that their partners will be empowered and help the IT community at large prepare for upcoming threats.

Global and Indian companies reported around 31 percent cyberattacks in 2020. Acronis said that the frequency of attacks targeting remote workers is expected to increase in 2021.

Stating the reason for the increase in cyberattacks, the report said the defenses for systems outside of the corporate network are more easily compromised, giving bad actors access to that organization’s data.

The Acronis cyberthreats report also said that ransomware attackers will focus on targets that provide a bigger return on their efforts.

As per the report, blocking the new malware has rendered traditional antimalware solutions obsolete, as they cannot keep pace with the increased sophistication and frequency of new threats.

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