Network Attacks Hit Two-year High during Pandemic despite Shift to Remote Working.

Network attacks and unique attack signatures both hit two-year highs between July and September this year, according to the latest Internet Security Report from WatchGuard Technologies. Findings from the research show that attacks detected grew to more than 3.3 million, representing a 90% increase over the previous quarter. The report reveals how COVID-19 has impacted the cyber security threat landscape, with evidence that attackers continue to target corporate networks despite the shift to remote working.

The report also shows a steady rise in pandemic-related malicious domains and phishing campaigns. A COVID-19 adware campaign running on websites used for legitimate pandemic support purposes made WatchGuard's list of the top 10 compromised websites in Q3. WatchGuard also uncovered a phishing attack that leverages Microsoft SharePoint to host a pseudo-login page impersonating the United Nations (UN). The email hook contained messaging around small business relief from the UN due to COVID-19.

These findings highlight the fact that businesses must prioritise maintaining and strengthening protection for network-based assets and services, even as workforces become increasingly remote. "As the impact of COVID-19 continues to unfold, our threat intelligence provides key insight into how attackers are adjusting their tactics," said Corey Nachreiner, chief technology officer at WatchGuard. "While there's no such thing as 'the new normal' when it comes to security, businesses can be sure that increasing protection for both the endpoint and the network will be a priority in 2021 and beyond. It will also be important to establish a layered approach to information security, with services that can mitigate evasive and encrypted attacks, sophisticated phishing campaigns and more."

Other findings in the WatchGuard Internet Security Report include:

* Businesses click on hundreds of phishing attacks and bad links--In Q3, WatchGuard's DNSWatch service blocked a combined 2,764,736 malicious domain connections, which translates to 499 blocked connections per organisation in total. Breaking it down further, each...

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