Security threats doubled last year

Security breach detections in the first quarter of the year were double that of the whole of 2021, according to the WatchGuard Threat Lab.

The latest quarterly Internet Security Report from the WatchGuard Threat Lab showed that in the first quarter, WatchGuard blocked a total of more than 21.5 million malware variants (274 per device) and nearly 4.7 million network threats (60 per device).

That’s despite Threat Lab’s fourth quarter report showing that ransomware attacks were trending downwards year-on-year.

EMEA was particularly badly hit, with overall regional detections of basic and evasive malware showing that WatchGuard Fireboxes in the region were more impacted than those in North, Central and South America (AMER) at 57 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively, followed by Asia-Pacific (APAC) at 21 per cent.

Watchguard chief security officer Corey Nachreiner said that based on the early spike in ransomware this year and data from previous quarters, he predicted 2022 would break our record for annual ransomware detections,” said, at WatchGuard.

“We continue to urge companies to not only commit to implementing simple but critically important measures but also to adopt a true unified security approach that can adapt quickly and efficiently to growing and evolving threats”, he said.

Despite the demise of the infamous REvil group,which was responsible for the attack on IT management software firm Kaseya last year, Watchguard thinks that other groups such as LAPSUS$ and new ransomware variants such as BlackCat have been active.

Among the biggest factors behind the increase was the rise in attacks using the Log4Shell signature, which nearly tripled in the first quarter of this year, WatchGuard says.