2018 Global Threat Intelligence Report: Finance remains the sector most susceptible to attacks in APAC, despite 20 percent drop in volume

NTT Security report shows brute forcing as top attack type within APAC for all industry sectors at 26 percent, reflecting attackers’ desire to decode encrypted data through automated software

SINGAPORE, April 25, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — NTT Security, the specialised security company and centre of excellence in security for NTT Group, has published its 2018 Global Threat Intelligence Report (GTIR). The report reveals the number of attacks on the finance sector in APAC has dropped from 46 percent to 26 percent compared to the previous year, along with 3 new industries that made it to the top 5 attacked industries – Technology, Retail and Government.

NTT Security summarises data from over 6.1 trillion logs and 150 million attacks for the 2018 GTIR, which analyses global threat trends based on log, event, attack, incident and vulnerability data from NTT Group operating companies and highlights the latest ransomware, phishing and DDoS attack trends, demonstrating the evolving threat landscape faced by global organizations.

In APAC, the report shows the attacks targeting the finance sector have continued to be a threat despite a 20 percent drop versus a year ago. On the other hand, attacks targeting the manufacturing sector have significantly decreased to seven percent from 32 percent in the same period.  Even though the APAC region tends to have a strong representation in the manufacturing sector, with China and Korea being two of the world’s leading manufacturing countries, the sector is no longer listed among the top five most attacked industries in this year’s report.

Attacks against retail and education sectors were at 15 percent and 18 percent respectively. Education, in particular, saw a dramatic jump from three percent to 18 percent in attack volume, alongside technology industry from five percent to 16 percent. Technology was the only sector to appear in the top five most attacked industries in every geographic region (Americas, APAC, EMEA and Japan, as well as globally). Though most regions saw a decrease in attacks against government targets, APAC actually had a seven percent increase, from six percent to 13 percent.

Overall, the top five most targeted industries in APAC, namely finance, education, technology, retail and government, comprised 88 percent of all attacks last year. This suggests that attackers spread out attacks more evenly across a focused set of industries.

Malware and brute force attacks dominate in APAC

In APAC, viruses and worms accounted for 66 percent of malware, nearly three times the global percentage of 23 percent.  Whilst the report shows an increasing trend of ransomware nearly in every region, it played a role in only 2 percent of malware-related attacks for APAC targets. Conversely, brute force attacks accounted for 26 percent of all attacks in the region, but were ranked the twelfth most common attack type in both the Americas and EMEA.

Brute force attacks spiked to 64 percent for the retail and education sectors in APAC, and was the leading attack type in the region, at 26 percent. A brute force attack usually uses automated software to perform many consecutive guesses to identify usernames and passwords.  Simple passwords can be broken in seconds or minutes depending on password complexity.

Jon Heimerl, Senior Manager of the Threat Intelligence Communication Team, Global Threat Intelligence Centre at NTT Security, says: “The GTIR clearly demonstrates the uphill battle organisations face in achieving an optimal balance between operational security and compliance initiatives. In order to be successful they cannot afford to be complacent and must recognise that having a firm grasp on what it takes to remain secure is a fundamental part of everyday business operations.”

“In an ever-evolving threat landscape, defending your organization is no small task, but focusing on key areas outlined in our report, such as incident response plans, multi-factor and strong authentication, comprehensive and reliable patching and usable but effective security measures, can help to build the security posture of an organisation.”

Summary of other key global findings:

  • Top attack source countries: United States (27%), China (19%), Netherlands (4%)
  • Ransomware increased from being 1% of global malware in the 2017 GTIR to nearly 7%
  • Ransomware incident response engagement fell from over 22% of incidents in 2016 to just over 5% in 2017
  • Business and professional services joined the list of the top five globally attacked industry sectors in third position at 10%
  • The gaming sector was the most targeted by ransomware in 2017 at 20%, followed by business and professional services at 17%, healthcare and manufacturing both at 12% and technology at 11%
  • Financial services (18%) and healthcare (15%) were the two most common sectors to seek incident response services

The 2018 GTIR gathers data from NTT Security monitoring, management, and incident response operations. It also includes details from NTT Security research sources including global honeypots and sandboxes in over 100 countries in environments independent from institutional infrastructures.

To learn more about the most important global threats and the actions management, technical staff and users can take to improve their security posture, follow the link to download the NTT Security 2018 GTIR: https://www.nttsecurity.com/gtir.

Notes for editors:

About NTT Security

NTT Security is the specialized security company and the center of excellence in security for NTT Group.  With embedded security we enable NTT Group companies (Dimension Data, NTT Communications and NTT DATA) to deliver resilient business solutions for clients’ digital transformation needs.  NTT Security has multiple SOCs, seven R&D centers, over 1,500 security experts and handles hundreds of thousands of security incidents annually across six continents.

NTT Security ensures that resources are used effectively by delivering the right mix of Managed Security Services, Security Consulting Services and Security Technology for NTT Group companies – making best use of local resources and leveraging our global capabilities.  NTT Security is part of the NTT Group (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation), one of the largest ICT companies in the world.  Visit nttsecurity.com to learn more about NTT Security or visit www.ntt.co.jp/index_e.html to learn more about NTT Group.

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For more information, please contact:

NTT Security
Yixuan Lin
Email: yixuan.lin@nttsecurity.com