Guest Post: Proofpoint.
With the first six months of 2015 behind us and unsolicited email volume data for the first half of the year available in the Threat Report for June 2015, this is a good opportunity to see what the data and threats of the year-to-date can tell us about the evolving threat landscape.
Cybersecurity and data breaches have continued to dominate the press: the high-profile breach at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) exposed extensive personal data of up to 21 million individuals but it was hardly the only one, as banks, retailers, insurance companies and a variety of other public and private organizations.
While cybercrime remains the prevalent driver for many of these, state actors are widely suspected behind some.
At the same time, exploits and tools have also been very visible: in addition to the usual parade of new patched vulnerabilities and zero-day exploits, the first half of the year saw rapid changes in the exploit kit (EK) landscape, as the Angler EK and then others included zero-day exploits, demonstrating the increasing sophistication and value-add of EK’s as part of a cybercrime infrastructure.
Several of the trends we described in the Proofpoint cybersecurity predictions for 2015 have developed as expected, from the targeting of PII by presumed state actors (OPM) and the advancement of Federal cybersecurity legislation (in addition to executive orders), to the continued growth of malvertising and ransomware.
Social media threats and legislation have yet to make the same impact in 2015, but trends in social media activity show that threat actors and legislators alike are discovering this vector and will focus more on it during the second half of 2015.
Reviewing the first six months of 2015, four main trends emerge:
1. Shift to attachment-based campaigns
2. Change in phishing techniques target business users*
3. Social media increasing as a source of brand and compliance risk
4. Continued decrease in the overall volume of unsolicited messages