Rapid7’s recent report sheds light on concerning trends in the cybersecurity landscape, emphasizing the persistent profitability of ransomware and the expanding use of zero-day exploits.
The mid-year review, based on insights from Rapid7 researchers and managed services teams, reveals distressing realities: ransomware continues to thrive, basic security defenses are being neglected, and organizations struggle to achieve adequate security maturity. The report cites over 1,500 ransomware victims globally in the first half of 2023, including significant incidents involving ransomware gangs like LockBit, Alphv/BlackCat, Cl0p, and BianLian. However, these figures are believed to be conservative, as they do not account for unreported ransom payments or ongoing victim calculations.
One of the key findings underscores the lucrative nature of cybercrime, with ransomware attacks proving successful due to both their immense profit potential and the vulnerabilities in the security posture of many potential targets. The report highlights troubling statistics, such as nearly 40% of incidents being attributed to lax or missing multi-factor authentication (MFA), a fundamental security measure.
Moreover, the general security posture of numerous organizations remains subpar, with Rapid7 consultants noting that a mere single organization has met the minimum recommended security maturity standards in 2023 according to CIS and NIST benchmarks.
Furthermore, the study underscores the effectiveness of old vulnerabilities in facilitating attacks, as evidenced by instances like CVE-2021-20038 and CVE-2017-1000367. The report highlights that more than a third of widespread threat vulnerabilities have been exploited in zero-day attacks during the first half of 2023. While cybercriminals capitalize on these vulnerabilities, the report points out that exploit brokers continue to thrive on the dark web, selling zero-day exploits for significant sums, such as $75,000 or more.
Rapid7’s report underscores the pressing need for organizations to fortify their security measures, particularly given the persistent allure of cybercrime’s financial rewards and the rising complexity of the cybersecurity landscape.