Cyber security situation "tense at a very high level"

The current BSI report on the situation of IT security in Germany paints a gloomy picture. The number of malware programs is rising dramatically

Every day the number of malicious 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 malicious 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". As a result, 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 industries and company sizes affected

Companies and institutions of all sizes and industries were affected by ransomware attacks: Automobile manufacturers and their suppliers, airports and airlines, administrations, hospitals, universities, but also small and medium-sized companies, which are characterized by the production of special components in mechanical engineering.
In Germany alone, some 15,000 patient records were publicly accessible between July and September 2019. These included patient names, birth dates, examination dates, information on treatment 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 cyber attacks has not diminished. On the contrary: since the lockdown at the beginning of March, almost one in five employees has been the victim of a cyber attack. During the pandemic, cybercriminals changed tactics and followed people to their home office. Now this is also a gateway for new forms of data theft.
The problem: although the pandemic has brought a digitalization boost to the economy, it has also increased the risk of cyber attacks. Cyber threats are growing faster than the ability of most companies to deal with them.

Attacks more and more intelligent and targeted

The appearance of the Trojan Emotet, currently the most dangerous malware in the world, marked a change in method last year: "Whereas in the past, unpunctual mass attacks on randomly selected targets were the method of choice, malware attacks are now becoming increasingly intelligent and - through the clever combination of different malware - more targeted," say the BSI cyber security experts. The damaging effect of this approach is immense.

The Human, as a factor of insecurity, as a gateway for cyber attacks

But it is not just cybercriminals who try to access company data, customer data and intellectual property from the outside. Their own 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 use social engineering methods and phishing and also serve as a door opener for further attacks.

The BSI's assessment of the risk potential is consistent with our findings. Please also read our new study on cyber security in Corona times:

Further information and examples are summarized in the „Bericht zur Lage der IT-Sicherheit in Deutschland 2020“ .

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