Trend Micro Predicts More Sophisticated Attacks Will Dominate Australia in 2019

Cybercriminals adapt tactics to prey upon evolving corporate technology environments

SYDNEY, Australia – 12 December, 2018Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, today released its 2019 predictions report, warning that attackers will increase the effectiveness of proven attack methods by adding more sophisticated elements to take advantage of the changing technology landscape. The report, Mapping the Future: Dealing with Pervasive and Persistent Threats, highlights the growing threats faced by consumers and organisations that are exacerbated by the increasingly connected world.

“2018 has been a significant year for data breaches in Australia. Local and global regulations have been put in place and we’ve seen huge change in the industry as reporting and transparency becomes crucial to how organisations approach cybersecurity. This provides a positive opportunity for organisations to optimise their security posture and keep customer privacy central to everything they do,” said Jon Oliver, Director and Data Scientist, Trend Micro.

“As we head into 2019, organisations must also understand the security implications of greater cloud adoption, converging IT and OT, and increasing remote working. Cybercriminals will continue to follow a winning formula – exploiting existing flaws, social engineering and stolen credentials – to drive profits. As both the corporate attack surface and unknown cyber threats increase, it’s more important than ever for organisations to put more resources behind employee education to help protect against these growing attacks.”

In Australia, the role of social engineering in successful attacks against businesses and individuals will continue to increase throughout the year. Since 2017, the number of phishing URLs blocked by Trend Micro in Australia has increased by 173 percent. Additionally, attackers will continue to rely on known vulnerabilities for the vast majority of exploit based attacks, as this remains a successful tactic.

Trend Micro also predicts attackers will leverage these proven methods against growing cloud adoption. More vulnerabilities will be found in cloud infrastructure, such as containers, and weak cloud security measures will allow greater exploitation of accounts for cryptocurrency mining. This will lead to more damaging breaches due to misconfigured systems.

Attackers will continue to use activities such as monitoring social networks or penetrating email systems to monitor the movements of executives. This will lead to more convincing targeted phishing messages, which can be critical to BEC attacks. Additionally, it is likely that BEC attacks will target more employees who report to C-level executives, resulting in continued global losses.

SIM swapping and SIM-jacking will be a growing threat to take advantage of remote employees and everyday users. This attack method allows criminals to hijack a cell phone without the user’s knowledge, making it difficult for consumers to regain control of their devices. Additionally, the smart home will be an increasingly attractive target for attacks that leverage home routers and connected devices.

To find out more on these and many more 2019 predictions, read the full report here.

About Trend Micro

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, helps to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Our innovative solutions for consumers, businesses, and governments provide layered security for data centres, cloud environments, networks, and endpoints. All our products work together to seamlessly share threat intelligence and provide a connected threat defence with centralised visibility and control, enabling better, faster protection. With more than 6,000 employees in over 50 countries and the world’s most advanced global threat intelligence, Trend Micro enables organisations to secure their journey to the cloud. For more information, visit

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