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Ransomware continues to grow and, not only that, has the potential to truly affect the manufacturing automation industry.

One reason is almost half of businesses report they were the subject of a cyber-ransom campaign last year, new research found.

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Data loss topped the list of IT professionals’ cyber-attack concerns, with 27 percent of tech leaders reporting this as their greatest worry, according to Radware’s Global Application and Network Security Report 2016-2017. It was followed by service outage (19 percent), reputation loss (16 percent), and customer or partner loss (9 percent).

Malware or bot attacks hit half of all organizations surveyed in the last year. One reason for the pervasive attacks was the ever growing Internet of Things (IoT). Fifty-five percent of respondents reported IoT ecosystems complicated their cybersecurity detection measures, as they create more vulnerabilities.

Cyber Security

Ransomware attacks continue to rise: 41 percent of respondents reported ransom was the top motivator behind the cyber-attacks they experienced in 2016. Meanwhile, 27 percent of respondents cited insider threats, 26 percent said political hacktivism, and 26 percent said competition.

While large-scale DDoS attacks dominated the headlines of 2016, this report found 4 percent of all attacks were more than 50 Gbps, while more than 83 percent of DDoS attacks reported were under 1 Gbps.

“One thing is clear: Money is the top motivator in the threat landscape today,” said Carl Herberger, vice president of security solutions at Radware. “Attackers employ an ever-increasing number of tactics to steal valuable information, from ransom attacks that can lock up a company’s data, to DDoS attacks that act as a smoke screen for information theft, to direct brute force or injection attacks that grant direct access to internal data.”

Despite the growth in attacks, 40 percent of organizations said they do not have an incident response plan in place.

The report listed five cybersecurity predictions for 2017:
1. IoT will become an even larger risk. The Mirai IoT Botnet code is available to the public, making it more likely that cyber criminals of all experience levels are already strengthening their capabilities.
2. Ransomware attacks will continue to grow. These attacks will target phones, laptops, and company computers, and will likely take aim at healthcare devices.
3. Permanent Denial of Service (PDoS) attacks on data centers and IoT operations will rise. PDoS attacks, sometimes called “phlashing,” damage a system to the degree that it requires hardware replacement or reinstallation. These attacks are not new, but Radware predicts they are likely to become more pervasive in 2017.
4. Telephony DoS (TDoS) will become more sophisticated. These attacks, which cut off communications in a crisis, “could impede first responders’ situational awareness, exacerbate suffering and pain, and potentially increase loss of life,” the report said.
5. Public transportation system attacks will rise. As cars, trains, and planes become more automated, they also become more vulnerable to hackers, Radware said.

Click here to register to download the report.

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