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Orange Cyber Defense

Orange Cyberdefense Security Report: Cyber extortion and advanced attacks peaked in 2023

Orange Cyberdefense is now releasing its Security Navigator 2024 report, which presents an analysis of developments in cyber threats and cybercrime for the past year (period October 2022-September 2023).

Among the results, it appears that Orange Cyberdefense has identified a total of 129,395 incidents during the period, which is an increase of 30 percent from the same period last year. The majority, 43.6 percent, of the activities originate from external actors, while 37.45 percent were initiated internally in businesses.

Although the total number of incidents increased during the year, the number of confirmed security incidents decreased. However, the confirmed incidents have been of a considerably "higher" quality, i.e. more advanced and refined in their kind. There are three industries that together account for over two-thirds of all confirmed incidents, the manufacturing industry 32.43 percent, the retail trade 21.73 percent and businesses within professional, scientific and technical services 9.84 percent.

OCD security navigator

Of the total number of incidents, most are categorized, almost a third (30.32 percent) as “Hacking”[1]. This is an increase from last year when the category made up 25 percent of the incidents. Malicious code has historically been one of the two most common types of incidents. This year, however, malware has slipped to third place, making up 12.98 percent of incidents. In second place, with 16.61 percent of the incidents is the category of incorrect use (Misuse).

- Cyber threats are developing very quickly but are also becoming increasingly advanced and specialized, which makes it even more difficult for companies and businesses to identify and protect their digitally dependent operations, says Peter Larsson, CTO Orange Cyberdefense, Sweden. At the same time, we see a development where cyber threats and cybercrime are used for more purposes, to access data, for financial gain but also to carry out influence and hacktivism. A more varied range of actors and approaches by the threat actors, places higher demands on smart, intelligent and insight-driven cyber security solutions, while business and company management must raise security issues to a strategic and overall level in order to manage risks and security strategies in a good way.

Cybercriminal actors undergoing strong development and change

One area that is both developing and growing rapidly is cyber extortion. In the last twelve months, the number of victims of cyber extortion has increased by 46 percent globally, to the highest level ever. 40 percent of the attacks hit large companies with more than 10,000 employees. 23 percent affected medium-sized companies and 25 percent affected small businesses.

[1] According to the "VERIS framework for incident classification"

There is a lot of turmoil among the actors who engage in cyber extortion. In 2023, Orange Cyberdefense identified 31 new cyber extortion groups that were not known before. At the same time, 25 groups disappeared, while 23 groups that had been active in previous years continued to engage in cyber extortion.

The geopolitical development has also meant that some cyber extortion actors have become increasingly politically driven and, overall, the number of cybercriminal groups that are politically or ideologically motivated has increased during the period. Their purposes are often espionage, sabotage, disinformation and extortion or a combination of several of these areas.

You can download the full report here:

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