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Comcast Business Cybersecurity Threat Report dissects 23.5 billion attempted cybersecurity attacks against customers.

Cyber attacks used to begin with an exploit of a vulnerability in public-facing network resources that connect to applications and infrastructure within the network perimeter. However, the majority of breaches now originate with the users of internal and external resources, according to the inaugural Comcast Business Cybersecurity Threat Report. Research has shown that today, approximately 67% of all breaches start with someone clicking on a seemingly safe link, which explains why adversaries begin 80-95% of all attacks with a phish.

The report presents essential insights into the global cybersecurity landscape, along with effective strategies for technology and security leaders to safeguard their organizations against evolving cyber threats. It leverages data from 23.5 billion cybersecurity attacks, spanning 500 threat types and 900 distinct infrastructure and software vulnerabilities, that Comcast Business helped customers navigate in 2022. It also sheds light on the new threat matrix and strategies adversaries employ to access enterprise networks.

“Technology is accelerating at a breakneck pace – bringing sophisticated new tools to both attackers and defenders. And although attacker tools are evolving, social engineering continues to be the leading tactic used to breach corporate networks,” said Noopur Davis, Executive Vice President, Chief Information Security and Product Privacy Officer, Comcast Corporation and Comcast Cable. “CISOs and CIOs have to adjust to the evolving threat landscape to protect their organizations and customers.”

Additional key themes from the report include:

  • Adversaries’ use of reconnaissance tactics underscores the importance of only accepting network connection requests from trusted sources. Attackers do their homework to uncover vulnerabilities, like open ports and misconfigured systems, as evidenced by the 242 million reconnaissance scans of customer networks and assets. The top reconnaissance tools employed by adversaries include vulnerability scanners, botnets and phishing. Once inside a network, adversaries made 2.6 million attempts to modify or create new firewall rules to establish external communications for command-and-control operations and data exfiltration.
  • Remote desktop has become an increasingly targeted vulnerability. Adversaries used various methods, including remote desktop, theft and brute force attacks to steal credentials and gain unauthorized access to customer networks. Customer logs documented over 54 million attempts to exploit credentials for initial access. Additionally, bad actors capitalized on vulnerable Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) configurations, resulting in over 185 million attempts to gain remote access. Unauthenticated users also exploited vulnerabilities in Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and made 139 million attempts to establish connections to victim servers. Furthermore, credential-stealing malware contributed to 159 million attempts by adversaries to steal and use credentials to infiltrate compromised networks.
  • Adversaries continue to exploit the Apache Log4j vulnerability. The Apache Log4j vulnerability remains a significant threat due to the widespread deployment of millions of Java applications, leaving a staggering 72% of organizations vulnerable to exploits. Comcast Business prevented nearly 105 million Log4j exploit attempts in 2022. By regularly updating systems and optimizing operating performance, businesses can fortify their endpoints against potential cyber-attacks and mitigate the risks associated with Log4j exploits.
  • Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks will continue to be a concern as the world becomes more interconnected. Comcast Business detected 51,915 DDoS attacks in 2022. IT and technical service customers saw an increase in DDos attempts, making up 25% of attempts, joining education (46%), finance (14%) and healthcare (13%) as the most targeted industry segments. These attacks aimed to disrupt critical database servers and network resources, with over 210 million instances of denial-of-service attacks recorded.

“No organization has perfect security, but everyone needs to understand their cybersecurity risks and build a plan to address the threats and trends the industry is experiencing,” said Shena Seneca Tharnish, Vice President, Secure Networking and Cyber Security Solutions. “Technology teams today are best served through a comprehensive suite of powerful security solutions orchestrated to provide multiple layers of security.”

Click here to read more about cybersecurity and business continuity issues from Continuity Insights.

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