Cyber threats are on the increase and are becoming increasingly sophisticated. That’s what security company Fortinet says in its Global Threat Landscape Report for the third quarter of this year. Encrypted data traffic, for example, is being abused more and more often and there is a growing number of unique malware variants and families.

In the third quarter of this year, according to Fortinet, encrypted data traffic reached a record high. It now represents 72 percent of all network traffic, compared to 55 percent a year earlier. However, companies are unable to inspect encrypted data traffic at the speed at which they do business, due to the performance limitations of firewalls and intrusion prevention systems (IPS).

A growing percentage of network traffic is therefore not checked for malicious content. Cybercriminals can use encrypted data traffic to spread malware and smuggle out information.

In addition, cybercriminals are developing new strategies to bypass security mechanisms. For example, the number of unique malware variants increased by 43 percent and the number of malware families increased by almost 32 percent. In addition, the number of unique daily detections of malware per company increased by 62 percent and the number of unique exploits increased by almost 10 percent.

Mobile devices

The study also shows that mobile devices remain an important target. More than a quarter of companies are said to have been the victim of a mobile malware attack in the third quarter. The vast majority of the attacks were aimed at Android malware.

Cryptojacking is a springboard for other attacks, according to Fortinet. The number of platforms affected by cryptojacking increased by 38 percent, the number of unique signatures doubled in the past year. The signatures related to new platforms for conducting advanced cyber attacks and as-a-service solutions for novice cybercriminals.

Botnets are also becoming more stubborn. The index for botnets showed an increase of only 2 percent, but the infection duration per farm increased by 34 percent to 10.2 days. This suggests that botnets have a more advanced character, are more difficult to detect or that infections are more difficult to fix.

Weekends

Finally, it appears that the percentage of rogue traffic increases during weekends and public holidays. Business traffic is declining sharply during this period, because many employees are not active. Organisations often see this as a good time to inspect their network for malware.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.