8 Unforgettable Lessons from Fortinet’s Q4 2016 Threat Landscape Report

How do you stay one step ahead of those increasingly crafty cyber criminals?  By studying trends and understanding criminals’ behaviors and preferred tactics. You can start with Fortinet’s Q4 2016 Threat Landscape Report, which gives you a comprehensive view of what’s going on in cybersecurity.  

What You’re up Against

Cyber attacks are getting bigger and more sophisticated. This rising aggression and unpredictability in the threat landscape has companies scrambling to defend themselves.

In the final quarter of 2016, the world saw the largest data breach and denial of service attack to date. And businesses are still reeling from the recent WannaCry ransomware attack, which affected at least 150 countries and may end up costing as much as $4 billion.   

As an organization, you can’t sit back complacently waiting for the next attack.  You need to arm yourself—with the right information.

Fortinet Intelligence is a Powerful Weapon

To compile the Threat Landscape Report, our technology parter Fortinet, exhaustively looked at over a trillion security events from the last three months of 2016.

What they found is that many of the threats we’re seeing today aren’t new. Take, for example, SQL Slammer, which topped the application exploit list for the final quarter of 2016.  It’s been around for years. Threats mutate over time, so it’s helpful to study past incidents to stay one step ahead.   

Here are eight revelations highlighted in the report. By addressing them now, you can be better prepared to counter a cybersecurity attack:

  1. Watch your devices. Cyber criminals are ratcheting up attacks on unprotected and vulnerable IoT devices.  Printers and routers are particularly susceptible.
  2. No one is safe.  Cyber criminals are casting wider nets for their prey—making everyone a potential target.  Alarmingly, the Fortinet study found a whopping 10.7 unique application exploits per organization.  
  3. Make sure you stay current with patches.  The report shows 86% of firms registered attacks to exploit vulnerabilities that were over ten years old—reinforcing the importance of keeping software up- to-date.  
  4. Beware of ransomware. The report found that the healthcare sector was the most common victim of ransomware attacks, but all industries should be on guard.  A rise of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) is also concerning.  
  5. Watch out for malware.  You should be particularly wary of Nemucod and Agent.  
  6. Mobile is vulnerable.  Mobile malware is a global problem and was reported by about one in five organizations — more than what Fortinet’s seen in the past.
  7. Botnets still give companies grief. Fortinet detected an average of nearly seven unique active botnet families per organization.
  8. Cyber criminals never take a holiday. Cyber crooks often target organizations when they’re not expecting it, such as attacking universities during a school break.  

What Organizations Can Do to Counteract Cyber Threats

Companies can take the information gleaned from the Fortinet report and put it into action. Regularly review your security policies, and make sure you’re up-to-date on all necessary patches.  
As a partner of Fortinet, Tec-Refresh can help businesses address the challenges on the threat environment. To gain a better understanding of what you’re up against, download the full Fortinet Q4 2016 Threat Landscape Report.