Trend Micro Blocked 8.8 Million COVID-19 Threats in the First Half of 2020

August 27, 2020 - 03:30
Trend Micro Blocked 8.8 Million COVID-19 Threats in the First Half of 2020

More than 37,700 cases detected in Hong Kong, 67% of which were email-based


HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - August 27, 2020 - Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), the leader in cybersecuritysolutions, today released its annual mid-year roundup report, which revealsCOVID-19 related threats as the single largest type of threat in the first halfof the year. In just six months, Trend Micro blocked 8.8 million COVID-19related threats, nearly 92% of which were email-based.


Of thethreats detected, more than 37,700 cases were detected from Hong Kong, of whichmore than 25,000 were email-based threats. Trend Micro found email samples that claimed to provide the latest newsand updates on the virus but instead delivered malware to its recipients.


Cybercriminalsshifted their focus from January through June to take advantage of globalinterest in the pandemic. The risk to businesses was compounded by securitygaps created by a completely remote workforce.


"Thepandemic has dominated all of our lives during the first half of 2020, but it'snot slowing down the cybercriminals," said Tony Lee, Consulting Manager ofTrend Micro Hong Kong and Macau. "IT leaders must continue to adapt theircybersecurity strategies to account for increased threats to their new normal.That means protecting remote endpoints, cloud systems, user credentials and VPNsystems, as well as refreshing training courses to turn that newly dispersedworkforce into a more effective first line of defense."


Intotal, Trend Micro blocked 27.8 billion cyber threats in the first half of2020, 93% of which were email-borne.


BusinessEmail Compromise (BEC) detections increased by 19% from the second half of2019, in part due to scammers trying to capitalize on home workers being moreexposed to social engineering.


Amongall the threats in the first half of the year, ransomware was a constantfactor. Although the number of detected ransomware threats decreased, TrendMicro saw a 45% increase in new ransomware families compared to the same timelast year.


Globalorganizations have also been burdened by a significant spike in newly disclosedvulnerabilities. Trend Micro's Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) published a total of786 advisories, representing a 74% increase from the second half of 2019. Someof these came as part of Microsoft Patch Tuesday updates, which have fixed anaverage of 103 CVEs per month so far in 2020 -- including the largest number ofpatches ever issued in a single month (129) in June.


TrendMicro also observed a 16% increase in vulnerabilities disclosed in industrialcontrol systems (ICS), compared to the first half of 2019, which could createmajor challenges for smart factory owners and other organizations running IIoTenvironments.


Toeffectively protect dispersed corporate networks, Gartner recommends businesses"refine security monitoring capabilities to reflect an operating environmentwhere network traffic patterns, data and system access vectors have changed dueto increased remote and mobile operations.[1]"Trend Micro XDR helps customers do exactly that by correlating security eventsacross the entire IT environment, which is critical for holistic protection inthe second half of 2020.


To learn more about the threat landscape in the first half of 2020 andhow businesses can stay secure moving forward, read the full report here:


[1] Gartner,Be Resilient: Prepare to Treat Cyber Risk Following the Coronavirus (COVID-19)Outbreak by Focusing on These 7 Areas, April 17, 2020

About Trend Micro

Trend Micro, aglobal leader in cybersecurity, helps make the world safe for exchangingdigital information. Leveraging over 30 years of security expertise, globalthreat research, and continuous innovation, Trend Micro enables resilience forbusinesses, governments, and consumers with connected solutions across cloudworkloads, endpoints, email, IIoT, and networks. Our XGen™ security strategypowers our solutions with a cross-generational blend of threat-defensetechniques that are optimized for key environments and leverage shared threatintelligence for better, faster protection. With over 6,700 employees in 65countries, and the world's most advanced global threat research andintelligence, Trend Micro enables organizations to secure their connected world