More cyber threats were detected in 2022 than any previous time

Cyber attack
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The year of 2022 saw a 55% rise in cyberattacks compared to the year before, a new report from Trend Micro has claimed.

The company also said that during 2022, its products blocked 242% more malicious files, as threat actors targeted both consumers and organizations indiscriminately.

Trend Micro said threat actors most often gain initial access through remote services, before expanding their footprint through credential dumping. They are also very keen on maintaining presence on compromised endpoints, as the company observed an 86% increase in malware designed to enable persistence. 

Log4j still lingers

For the third year in a row, the company continues, the number of Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) advisories is hitting record numbers, reaching 1,706 in 2022. Trend Micro believes this is the result of a “rapidly expanding corporate attack surface”, as well as higher investments in automated analysis tools which are then able to find more bugs. In fact, the number of critical vulnerabilities discovered in 2022 was double that of 2021. 

Two out of the top three CVEs reported in 2022 were related to Log4j, which still seems to be a major problem, years after its discovery.

Failed patches and “confusing” advisories are also on the rise, forcing organizations to spend more time and money to remedy potential problems. As a result, the firms are exposed to additional and unnecessary risk.

To tackle the increasingly volatile cybercrime problem, Trend Micro recommends businesses should regularly examine assets to determine their criticality, ensure that the cloud infrastructure is properly configured with security in mind, and prioritize updating software as soon as possible, to minimize the potential for exploitation. 

For Jon Clay, VP of threat intelligence at Trend Micro, 2022 was “as a year when threat actors went 'all-in' to boost profits”. 

“A surge in backdoor detections is particularly concerning in showing us their success in making landfall inside networks. To manage risk effectively across a rapidly expanding attack surface, stretched security teams need a more streamlined, platform-based approach,” he concluded.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.