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Cyber attacks doubled in 2024 but businesses remain slow to act

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The number of cyber attacks more than doubled in 2024, as reported by cyber security firm Armis. Despite this alarming trend, many businesses worldwide are failing to recognize the growing threat to cyber security.

According to the Armis analysis, the peak of attack attempts was observed in July, with imaging, manufacturing, and communications devices being the primary targets. Attacks on utilities tripled, and manufacturing saw a significant increase of 165% in attacks.

Despite the escalating threat, businesses are seemingly undervaluing cyber security, leading to the ignorance of potential risks. Neglecting key vulnerabilities is identified as a major cause of the surge in cyber breaches, as highlighted in the report.

Nadir Izrael, the Co-founder and CTO of Armis, emphasized the importance of addressing the increasing cyber threats, stating, “Security teams must proactively identify and resolve blind spots to mitigate risks posed by rising cyber attack attempts.”

The report underscores the vulnerability of legacy technology, particularly outdated Windows OS versions pre-2012, which are 77% more likely to be targeted by cyber attacks. Additionally, the imminent end-of-support for older server versions further exposes them to vulnerabilities, with educational services sector being at high risk, affecting 18% of organizations.

Notably, the education industry stands out as 41% more vulnerable compared to other sectors, which have an average vulnerability rate of 10%. Retail, healthcare, manufacturing, and public administration are among the industries deemed vulnerable due to outdated OS servers.

Highlighting the importance of addressing security gaps, the report reveals over 65,000 common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) identified, with wearable devices showing the highest percentage (93%) of unpatched CVEs.

Understanding Cyber Attacks

A cyber attack is a malicious attempt to infiltrate a computer, operating system, or network without the proper authorization. The main objectives behind these attacks are to cause harm, compromise security, and steal sensitive information.

Such attacks aim to disrupt, manipulate, or control computer systems, with data theft, alteration, or blockage also being common goals of cyber attackers.

Preventing Cyber Attacks

Effective prevention strategies against cyber attacks include installing updated antivirus software to combat malware and implementing firewalls to filter incoming network traffic.

Other recommended measures for individuals and businesses include using multi-factor authentication, ensuring the use of strong passwords, encrypting passwords, and employing secure Virtual Private Networks (VPN).

Regularly updating all apps, devices, operating systems, and software is a simple yet crucial step to enhance cyber security as it ensures that security patches are in place to defend against new cyber threats.

Featured Image: Dall-E

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