Global information services and technology company Neustar, Inc. has published its report “Cyber Threats and Trends: Pandemic Style,” detailing the security risks companies face as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digital revolution.
Informed by data from Neustar’s Security Operations Center, the report reveals a 154% increase in the number of attacks between 2019 and 2020. It documents growth in ransom-related DDoS attacks and a rise in use of existing attack vectors, including web applications.
“Organizations should avoid paying these ransoms,” said Michael Kaczmarek, Neustar vice president of security product management. “Instead, any attack should be reported to the nearest law enforcement field office, as the information may help identify the attackers and ultimately hold them accountable.”
Beyond this, Kaczmarek said, “organizations can prepare by setting up a robust DDoS mitigation strategy, including assessing the risks, evaluating available solutions, considering mitigation strategies and keeping their plan and provider up to date.”
The report underscores a rise in ransom-related DDoS attacks, by which extortion demands are issued against organizations. These attacks grew in persistence and sophistication, as well as by target, compared to previous years.
Neustar also saw an increase in attacks on the Domain Name System itself last year — or what look like attacks.
“Acting as the Internet’s address book and backbone of today’s digital services, it’s unsurprising that DNS is an increasingly appealing target for malicious actors, particularly as more consumers turn to websites during peak online shopping periods,” said Rodney Joffe, Neustar senior vice president and fellow.