Trend Micro Blocks Over 61 Million Ransomware Attack Attempts in 2019

Security leader records 10% rise in ransomware detections

AUCKLAND, 26 February, 2020Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, today released its 2019 security roundup report. The report details the most important issues and changes in the threat landscape to provide New Zealand businesses with insights into best practices and strategies for protecting their infrastructures from current and emerging threats.

Ransomware continued to be a mainstay cyber threat last year. Globally, Trend Micro discovered a 10% increase in ransomware detections, despite a 55% decrease in the number of new ransomware families. The healthcare sector remained the most targeted industry globally, with more than 700 providers affected in 2019. In New Zealand, the healthcare sector was targeted as a primary health organisation confirmed up to 1 million New Zealanders could have been involved in a cyberattack claiming personal medical data. The ramifications for the healthcare sector are particularly detrimental as legal constraints come into play. Often medical systems are managed by third parties and upgrading OS/patch systems requires a repeat in clinical trials to remain compliant, which can sometimes take years to complete.

“Digital transformation has been a business buzzword for decades, and the concept has yielded very positive results over time. But security is often an afterthought, which leaves digital doors wide open for cybercriminals,” said Dr Jon Oliver, Director and Data Scientist, Trend Micro. “Despite the prevalent ideals of digital transformation, lack of basic security hygiene, legacy systems with outdated operating systems and unpatched vulnerabilities are still a reality. This scenario is ideal for ransomware actors looking for a quick return on investment. As long as the ransom scheme continues to be profitable, criminals will continue to leverage it.”

To improve the ransomware business process, alliances between ransomware groups were formed in 2019, demanding millions of dollars in ransom. Trend Micro also tracked a rise in the “access-as-a-service” trend, in which criminal groups rent out or sell access to company networks. This service ranges in price from $4,700 to $31,000 NZD, with the most expensive offering including full access to a company’s server hosts and corporate virtual private networks (VPNs).

Known vulnerabilities remain key to successful cyber attacks, including ransomware. In 2019, Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) disclosed 171% more high severity vulnerabilities than in 2018 on a global scale. The criticality score reflects the likelihood of these flaws being leveraged by attackers, so high severity bugs are more likely to be weaponised and the patches should be prioritised.

To protect against today’s threat landscape, Trend Micro recommends a connected threat defence across gateways, networks, servers and endpoints. Additionally, these best practices can increase a company’s security posture:

For more on the cyber threat landscape of 2019, access 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 secures your connected world. For more information, visit

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