The current BSI report on the state of IT security in Germany paints a bleak picture. The number of malware programs is increasing dramatically fast.
Every day, the number of malware programs on the net grows by around 320,000. 117.4 million new variants have been added within a year. In total, the number of malware programs now exceeds the billion mark.
These dramatic figures were announced by the BSI in its current “Report on the State of IT Security in Germany 2020″. Therefore, the cyber security situation is ” tense at a very high level”, says Arne Schönbohm, President of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) – the federal cyber security authority.
All sectors and company sizes affected
Companies and institutions of all sizes and sectors were affected by ransomware attacks: Automobile manufacturers and their suppliers, airports and airlines, administrations, hospitals, universities, but also small and medium-sized companies that excel in the production of special components in mechanical engineering.
In Germany alone, about 15.000 patient records have been publicly accessible between July and September 2019. These included patient names, dates of birth, examination appointments, treatment information and high-resolution X-ray images.
Covid and Home Office: Using the digitalization push for more cyber security
Even during the Corona pandemic, the threat of cyberattacks has not diminished, on the contrary: since the lockdown in early March, almost one in five workers has been the victim of a cyberattack. The cybercriminals have changed their tactics during the pandemic and have followed people home to their home offices. Now this is also a gateway for new forms of data theft.
The problem: while the pandemic has given the economy a digital boost, it has also increased the risk of cyberattacks. Cyber threats are increasing faster than most companies’ ability to cope with them.
Attacks increasingly intelligent and increasingly targeted
The appearance of the Emotet Trojan, currently the most dangerous malware in the world, marked a change in methods last year: “While untargeted mass attacks on randomly hit targets used to be the method of choice, malware attacks are now becoming increasingly intelligent and – through a cleverly combined use of different malware – more targeted,” say the BSI cyber security experts. The damaging effect of this approach is immense.
Human insecurity as a gateway for cyber attacks
But it is not only cyber criminals who try to access company data, customer data and intellectual property from the outside. Employees can also prove to be a weak point in the security network. Attackers are increasingly relying on the “human” factor as a gateway for attacks that work with social engineering methods and phishing and, as it were, serve as a door opener for further attacks.
Further information and examples are summarized in the “Report on the State of IT Security in Germany 2020“.