Ransomware threat surges as Brits suffer millions of attacks in 2022


he scale of the threat posed to companies and consumers by cyberattacks was laid bare today in a new report which reveals global ransomware attempts hit their second highest year on record in 2022.

Cyber intrusion attempts and malware attacks climbed 19% and 2% respectively, according to the Global Cyberattack Trends report by SonicWall, while crypto-theft attacks jumped 43% to reach a record high.

The volume of ransomware attacks was especially severe in the UK, climbing a staggering 112% in 2022, the report found, despite a 21% decrease in attacks worldwide.

A string of FTSE 350 companies have already fallen victim to major cyber-attacks since the start of the year. Earlier in February, 166-year-old industrial manufacturer Morgan Advanced Materials said it had experienced an attack on its IT systems that would cost millions of pounds to deal with, retailer JD Sports said it had been hit by a cyber-attack that leaked personal data of as many as 10 million customers.

Bob Vankirk, CEO of SonicWall, said: “The past year reinforced the need for cybersecurity in every industry and every facet of business, as threat actors targeted anything and everything, from education to retail to finance.

“While organizations face an increasing number of real-world obstacles with macroeconomic pressures and continued geopolitical strife, threat actors are shifting attack strategies at an alarming rate.”

Attacks on ‘internet of things’ devices like smart speakers and app-controlled doorbells have also soared in the UK, the report found, climbing by 163%, with Brits suffering nearly 6 million attacks in 2022.

Terry Greer-King, SonicWall Vice President for EMEA, said: “Connected devices have become part of everyday life, from Ring doorbells to Amazon speakers, your fridge to your Fitbit, they have access to massive amounts of our intimate data. Yet, they are the most vulnerable hackable devices we own.”

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