A new report from CrowdStrike has revealed that ransomware-related data leaks increased by 82% year-on-year in 2021, but three-fifths of cyber attacks involved no malware whatsoever.
The security company’s 2022 Global Threat Report was put together using an analysis of its own incident response engagements and security telemetry.
The report revealed that 62% of attacks used legitimate credentials to access networks, a process known as “non-malware, hands-on-keyboard activity” before using “living off the land techniques” to move laterally once inside.
Such tactics help them bypass detection by legacy tools, but not current network monitoring and other behaviour-based security.
This may partly explain the rise of highly targeted ransomware attacks against high-value organisations known as “big-game hunting”. According to CrowdStrike, the number of such attacks leading to data leaks rose from 1474 in 2020 to 2686 in 2021, amounting to over 50 targeted ransomware events per week.