Kaspersky report identifies major initial vectors of ransomware attacks in 2022

A new Kaspersky report has showed that the majority of ransomware attacks in 2022 started with exploitation of public-facing applications, data from compromised user accounts and malicious emails. 

According to the IT Security Economics report, more than 40% of companies faced at least one ransomware attack in 2022 and that SMEs spent an average of $6,500, whilst enterprises paid out $98,000 for the recovery. These figures reveal that ransomware attacks are still widespread and can hit any company at any time.

Statistics from the Kaspersky Incident Response Analyst Report ‘The nature of cyber incidents’ show that almost 43% of ransomware attacks investigated by Kaspersky experts in 2022 started with public facing apps exploitation, followed by data from previously compromised user accounts and malicious emails with 24% and 12% respectively. The attackers’ goal was not extortion or data encryption, but the mining of personal data, intellectual property, and other sensitive information.

In most of these cases, known credentials had already been compromised and there were no artefacts left to analyse by the time the crime was discovered due to log rotation policies, so it was not possible to investigate how this data was leaked.

The report also revealed that the longest-running ransomware attacks began with the exploitation of public-facing applications, with just over 2% of them lasting for a year and more.

“Continuing security issues with passwords, software vulnerabilities and social engineering become initial access vectors for attackers and provide them endless ways to perpetrate ransomware activities. To minimise the potential for such activities, it’s important for businesses to set up and control a password policy, patch management, raise employee awareness and take regular anti-phishing measures,” comments Konstantin Sapronov, Head of Global Emergency Response Team at Kaspersky.

To protect businesses from possible ransomware threats, Kaspersky experts recommend:

  1. Make regular system backups and, if possible, keep saved data on devices not connected to the corporate IT network. That will keep information safe if the entire network is compromised.
  2. Run an update on OS or business software to provide critical security updates, as well as features that may make the work easier.
  3. Use strong passwords to access corporate services and multi-factor authentication to access remote services.
  4. Talk to employees about the variety of cybersecurity threats they might encounter outlining potential threats such as phishing emails, shady websites, or software downloaded from unofficial sources. Consider interactive training and tests like Kaspersky Security Awareness to ensure staff remain vigilant.
  5. Use services and solutions like Kaspersky Incident ResponseKaspersky Endpoint Detection and Response Expert or Kaspersky Managed Detection and Response to identify and stop the attack on early stages, before cybercriminals can reach their final goals.
  6. Optimise the use of cybersecurity tools by implementing Extended detection and response solutions that collect telemetry from various data sources, including endpoint, network, and cloud data, to offer a comprehensive security outlook, as well as promptly detect and respond to existing threats.


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