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The complexity of global cybersecurity threats

The complexity of global cybersecurity threats

Global Complexity

The global cybersecurity landscape is becoming increasingly complex and threatening, according to recent reports from threat intelligence researchers. Cyber-attacks are on the rise, driven by the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and geopolitical motivations. “Organisations around the world are experiencing a rise in cyber-attacks,” said Check Point, a threat intelligence researcher, in their annual review released in January. Despite growing awareness, many businesses are slow to take action, with surveys indicating that a significant portion of companies have yet to sufficiently address these threats. Experts point out that while the fundamental methods of attack remain unchanged, AI has enhanced these techniques, making them more effective and sophisticated. “Most organisations have not increased their funding for cybersecurity, despite recognising the growing sophistication and volume of threats,” said Rob Robinson, EMEA head of Telstra Purple. The cyber-criminal landscape has also evolved, shifting from individual operators to a more organised ecosystem.

Global cyber threat dynamics

“Roles in cybercrime are now more specialised and collaborative, with different actors responsible for coding malware, hosting infrastructure, and spreading spam messages,” explained Richard Hummel, threat intelligence lead for NetScout. Geopolitical factors are also influencing the cybersecurity landscape. ESET researchers noted increased activity from regional advanced persistent threat (APT) groups, influenced by events such as the ongoing war in Gaza and conflicts in Europe. Russia-aligned APT groups were the top source of attacks at 33%, followed by China-aligned threat actors at 25%, Iran at 14%, and North Korea at 13%. Government entities were the main targets across various regions, with energy, defense, engineering, manufacturing, education, healthcare, and retail companies also facing increased pressure. Jean-Ian Boutin, ESET’s director of threat research, advises chief information security officers (CISOs) to double down on their defense strategies due to the heightened activity. As the global landscape becomes more volatile, businesses and government leaders must engage in scenario planning exercises and proactively anticipate future threats. Constant vigilance and forward-thinking, multi-layered strategies are essential to navigate the evolving cybersecurity challenges.

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