Incident Detection, Email Attacks Continue to Cause Headaches for Companies

Helsinki, Finland – February 22, 2018: Over one-third of all security incidents start with phishing emails or malicious attachments sent to company employees, according to a new report published today by global cyber security company F-Secure. F-Secure’s new Incident Response Report summarizes findings from F-Secure’s incident response investigations and provides insights into how real hackers attack organizations.

The single most common source of breaches analyzed in the report was attackers exploiting vulnerabilities in an organization’s internet facing services, which accounted for about 21 percent of security incidents investigated by F-Secure’s incident responders. But phishing and emails with malicious attachments together accounted for about 34 percent of breaches, which F-Secure Principal Security Consultant Tom Van de Wiele says make attacks arriving via email a much bigger pain point for organizations.

“Exploiting software vulnerabilities in drive-by scenarios is typical in opportunistic attacks, but breaching companies via email is actually far more common. There’s a lot of different ways different attackers can use email, and these attacks are popular because almost every company relies on email for communication,” Van de Wiele said. “People need to think before they click on attachments and links, but the pressures of many jobs overrides this logic, which attackers understand and exploit.”

Other significant findings in the report include:

  • Organizations were hit by targeted and opportunistic attacks in nearly equal proportion to one another
  • Insider threats accounted for one-fifth of security incidents
  • Incident responders were contacted after the security perimeter was breached in nearly 80 percent of cases
  • The most common post-breach action taken by attackers was spreading malware (mostly for financial gain, but also for espionage or maintaining access for future purposes)
  • 13 percent of investigations turned out to be false alarms
According to Van de Wiele, the number of false alarms reported as security incidents is surprising, and shows that too many organizations struggle with accurately detecting cyber attacks. “We’re often called in to investigate ‘suspicious activity,’ which tells me that a lot of organizations don’t have accurate incident detection capabilities. Sometimes we’ll even investigate and discover an IT problem rather than an attack, which drains resources and distracts everyone from dealing with the real issue.”

The report recommends companies improve their incident detection and response capabilities, such as by investing in an endpoint detection and response solution or service.

 

More information 3 Reasons why Companies Struggle with Incident Detection

F-Secure’s Incident Response and Forensic Services

 

About F-Secure

Nobody has better visibility into real-life cyber attacks than F-Secure. We’re closing the gap between detection and response, utilizing the unmatched threat intelligence of hundreds of our industry’s best technical consultants, millions of devices running our award-winning software, and ceaseless innovations in artificial intelligence. Top banks, airlines, and enterprises trust our commitment to beating the world’s most potent threats. Together with our network of the top channel partners and over 200 service providers, we’re on a mission to make sure everyone has the enterprise-grade cyber security we all need.

Founded in 1988, F-Secure is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd.

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F-Secure media relations

Adam Pilkey

PR Content Manager

+358 40 637 8859
adam.pilkey@f-secure.com

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