Trend Micro 2016 security roundup reveals 752 percent increase in ransomware

SYDNEY, 1 March 2017 –Trend Micro today released its annual security roundup report, “2016 security roundup: a record year for enterprise threats,” revealing 2016 was truly the year of online extortion. Cyber threats reached an all-time high in 2016, with ransomware and Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams gaining increased popularity among cybercriminals looking to extort enterprises.

A 752 percent increase in new ransomware families ultimately resulted in US$1 billion in losses for enterprises worldwide. “Ransomware is exploding and diversifying due to the ability for cybercriminals to not just threaten data encryption, but threaten inconvenience and potential damage,” said Dr. Jon Oliver, data scientist and senior architect at Trend Micro. “Ransomware dominated the threat landscape in 2016, causing losses and immense business disruption across multiple industries. Australian enterprises must adopt multi-layered security solutions to optimally combat these threats that could attempt to penetrate corporate networks at any time.”

Trend Micro and the Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) discovered 765 vulnerabilities in 2016. Of these, 678 were brought to ZDI through their bug bounty program, then ZDI verifies and discloses the issue to the affected vendor.

Compared to vulnerabilities discovered by Trend Micro and ZDI in 2015, Apple saw a 145 percent increase in vulnerabilities, while Microsoft bugs decreased by 47 percent. Additionally, the use of new vulnerabilities in exploit kits dropped by 71 percent, which is partially due to the arrest of the threat actors behind Angler that took place in June 2016. Australia saw exploit kits almost 31,000 times in Q4 2016 alone.

“As threats have diversified and grown in sophistication, cybercriminals have moved on from primarily targeting individuals to focusing on where the money is: enterprises,” said Ed Cabrera, chief cybersecurity officer for Trend Micro. “Throughout 2016 we witnessed threat actors extort companies and organisations for the sake of profitability and we don’t anticipate this trend slowing down. This research aims to educate enterprises on the threat tactics actively being used to compromise their data, and help companies adopt strategies to stay one step ahead and protect against potential attacks.”

Report highlights include:

For the complete report, please visit here.

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