February 22, 2024
Cybersecurity Tech

Acronis identifies 222% surge in email attacks in H2 2023

AI-enhanced phishing impacts 90% of organisations

There was an unprecedented 222% surge in email attacks during the second half of 2023, according to Acronis’s newly released end-of-year Cyberthreats Report for 2023.

The comprehensive report, titled ‘Acronis Cyberthreats Report, H2 2023: Alarming Rise in Cyberattacks, SMBs and MSPs in the Crosshairs’, delves into the evolving landscape of cyber threats worldwide.

Based on data collected from over 1,000,000 unique endpoints in 15 countries, the report reveals that AI-enhanced phishing impacted over 90% of organisations, contributing to a significant 222% increase in email attacks compared to the second half of 2022.

The defender

Acronis, a leading channel-first organisation, protects partners, managed service providers (MSPs), and managed security service providers (MSSPs) through its advanced cyberprotection solutions.

Email
Candid Wüest: Corporations must prioritise cyberprotection solutions. Image: Acronis

While ransomware variants and new groups showed a decline in H2 2023, established attack vectors continue to plague companies globally, causing data and financial losses. The report stresses the need for robust security solutions to detect and prevent the exploitation of zero-day vulnerabilities.

Acronis highlights the escalating use of advanced tactics such as supply chain attacks, AI-driven attacks, and state-sponsored incursions, which are expected to intensify in 2024. The report also warns MSPs of unique threats, including ‘island hopping’ and ‘credential stuffing’.

The report also highlights Acronis’ commitment to supporting MSPs through training and certification programmes offered via the MSP Academy.

Acronis blocked 28 million URLs at the endpoint in Q4 2023, reflecting a 36% decrease compared to Q4 2022. The report notes a 33.4% spam rate in received emails, with 1.5% containing malware or phishing links.

Top targeted countries

Singapore, Spain and Brazil ranked among the top countries reporting malware attacks.

Email
Image: Acronis

According to Acronis, cybercriminals increasingly leverage malicious AI tools, including WormGPT, FraudGPT, DarkBERT, DarkBART, and ChaosGPT. The public release of ChatGPT has amplified the use of generative AI for cyberattacks.

Candid Wüest, Acronis VP of Product Management, stressed the need for comprehensive cyber protection solutions. The veteran cyberprotection warrior said: “Now, more than ever, corporations need to prioritise comprehensive cyberprotection solutions to ensure business continuity.”

Michael Suby, Research VP at IDC, commented: “The Acronis Cyberthreats Report H2 2023 highlights the continued threats faced by businesses of all sizes worldwide.”

“Unfortunately, bad actors continue to profit from these activities and are leveraging AI-enhanced techniques to create more convincing phishing schemes, guaranteeing that this problem will continue to plague businesses.”

As businesses navigate an increasingly complex cybersecurity landscape, Acronis recommends a combination of behaviour-based detection, exploit prevention technology, and adherence to the 3-2-1 rule for data backup as crucial elements of a robust defence strategy.

The Acronis Cyberthreats Report H2 2023 report concludes that cybersecurity remains challenging, with cybercriminals evolving tactics and leveraging advanced technologies.

Download the Acronis end-of-year Cyberthreats Report 2023: https://go.acronis.com/cyberthreats-2023-h2

Featured image: Acronis blocked 28 million URLs at the endpoint in Q4 2023. Image: Glenn Carstens-Peters

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247 delivers trending business and lifestyle news and essential infotainment for, and from the Middle East region, with key focus on the GCC nations: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.
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