Home Business Cyber Attacks Increased 50% in 2021 and Peaked in December due to Log4J Exploits

Cyber Attacks Increased 50% in 2021 and Peaked in December due to Log4J Exploits

by maria gbaf

To start the new year, Check Point Research (CPR) is sharing global statistics of cyber attack increases observed in 2021 by region, country and industry. Last year, CPR saw a 50% increase in cyber attacks per week on corporate networks compared to 2020, peaking in December, largely due to Log4J exploitations. Hackers targeted Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America the most, but Europe saw the highest percent increase in cyber attacks year over year. Education/Research placed first for most targeted industry sector worldwide.

  • Cyber attacks on Education/Research sector jumped by 75% last year
  • Cyber attacks on Government sector jumped by 47% last year
  • Cyber attacks on Healthcare sector jumped by 71% last year

Check Point Research (CPR) is sharing global statistics of increases in cyber attacks on organizations in 2021 by region, country and industry sector. Last year, CPR saw 50% more cyber attacks per week on corporate networks compared to 2020. The trend of increasing cyber attacks reached an all-time high at the end of 2021 after revelations of the Log4J exploit, peaking to 925 cyber attacks a week per organization, globally.

Most Targeted Sectors Worldwide by Hackers in 2021

  1. Education/Research (+75%)
  2. Government/Military (+47%)
  3. Communications (+51%)
  4. ISP/MSP (67%)
  5. Healthcare (71%)

Most Targeted Regions

  1. Africa (+13%)
  2. Asia Pacific (+25%)
  3. Latin America (+38%)
  4. Europe (+68%)
  5. North America (+61%)

Omer Dembinsky, Data Research Manager, at Check Point Software:

“Hackers keep innovating. Last year, we saw a staggering 50% more cyber attacks per week on corporate networks compared to 2020 – that’s a significant increase. We saw cyber attack numbers peak towards the end of the year, largely due to the Log4J vulnerability exploit attempts. New penetration techniques and evasion methods have made it much easier for hackers to execute malicious intentions. What’s most alarming is that we’re seeing some pivotal societal industries surge into the most attacked list. Education, government and healthcare industries made it into the top 5 most attacked industries list, worldwide. I expect these numbers to increase going into 2022, as hackers will continue to innovate and find new methods to execute cyber attacks, especially ransomware. We’re in a cyber pandemic, if you will. I strongly urge the public, especially those in the education, government and healthcare sectors, to learn the basics on how to protect themselves. Simple measures such as patching, segmenting your networks and educating employees can go a long way in making the world safer.”

Safety Tips

  • Prevention, not detection
  • Secure your everything
  • Patch often
  • Segment your networks
  • Educate employees
  • Implement advanced security technologies

*The statistics and data used in this report present data detected by Check Point’s Threat Prevention technologies, stored and analyzed in ThreatCloud. ThreatCloud provides real-time threat intelligence derived from hundreds of millions of sensors worldwide, over networks, endpoints and mobiles. ThreatCloud is actually the brain behind Check Point Software’s threat prevention power, combines big data threat intelligence with advanced AI technologies to provide accurate prevention to all Check Point Software customers.

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