Study Reveals Increase in Cyber Espionage – Including Threefold Increase in SMB Attacks

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Shifting from governments, manufacturing has moved to the top of the list of industries targeted for attacks in 2012. Symantec believes this is attributed to an increase in attacks targeting the supply chain – cyber criminals find these contractors and subcontractors susceptible to attacks and they are often in possession of valuable intellectual property. Often by going after manufacturing companies in the supply chain, attackers gain access to sensitive information of a larger company. In addition, executives are no longer the leading targets of choice. In 2012, the most commonly targeted victims of these types of attacks across all industries were knowledge workers (27 percent) with access to intellectual property as well as those in sales (24 percent).

Symantec Corp.’s (Nasdaq: SYMC) Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 18 (ISTR) recently revealed a 42 percent surge during 2012 in targeted attacks compared to the prior year. Designed to steal intellectual property, these targeted cyber espionage attacks are increasingly hitting the manufacturing sector as well as small businesses, which are the target of 31 percent of these attacks. Small businesses are attractive targets themselves and a way in to ultimately reach larger companies via “watering hole” techniques. In addition, consumers remain vulnerable to ransomware and mobile threats, particularly on the Android platform.

“This year’s ISTR shows that cyber criminals aren’t slowing down, and they continue to devise new ways to steal information from organizations of all sizes,” said Stephen Trilling, chief technology officer, Symantec. “The sophistication of attacks coupled with today’s IT complexities, such as virtualization, mobility and cloud, require organizations to remain proactive and use ‘defense in depth’ security measures to stay ahead of attacks.”

 

Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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