Symantec’s 2016 Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) provides an overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity. It is compiled using data from the Symantec Global Intelligence Network and provides data on emerging trends in the threat landscape.
Symantec discovered more than 430 million new unique pieces of malware in 2015. Remarkably, these numbers no longer surprise us. Attacks against businesses and nations hit the headlines with such regularity that we’ve become numb to the sheer volume and acceleration of cyber threats. Most threat reports only scratch the surface of the threat landscape, whereas the breadth of Symantec’s data enables the Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) to examine multiple facets, including targeted attacks, smartphone threats, social media scams, and Internet of Things (IoT) vulnerabilities, as well as attackers’ tactics, motivations, and behaviors. While there is much to be learned from this comprehensive view into the threat landscape, the following are six key findings and trends from 2015:
- A new zero-day vulnerability was discovered on average each week. Advanced attackers continue to profit from flaws in browsers and website plugins.
- Half a billion personal records were stolen or lost. More companies than ever are not reporting the full extent of their data breaches.
- Major security vulnerabilities in three quarters of popular websites put us all at risk. Web administrators still struggle to stay current on patches.
- Spear-phishing campaigns targeting employees increased 55 percent. Cyber attackers are playing the long game against large companies.
- Ransomware increased 35 percent. Cyber criminals are using encryption as a weapon to hold companies’ and individuals’ critical data hostage.
- One hundred million fake technical support scams were blocked. Cyber scammers now make you call them to hand over your cash.
For more information, download the full report from Symantec.