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2017 State of Vulnerability Risk Management Report

The 2017 State of Vulnerability Risk Management Report from NopSec highlights the most notable events and trends in cybersecurity of the last year. The past 12 months were a particularly brutal year for the cybersecurity industry with several high-profile leaks and attacks.

These incidents were notable due to how much damage they were able to do to the intended victim. In many cases, the attacks had ripple effects with consequences for national politics, security, and international relations.

We also saw a wide range of attacks in 2016, including multiple data breaches, disruptive DDoS attacks, and virulent ransomware outbreaks. Learn more about how the industry changed during 2016 and what it means for the years ahead.

Notable Cybersecurity Attacks:

The past 12 months have been anything but predictable, and some organizations that were previously thought to be immune to cyber attacks suddenly found themselves falling prey to hackers from disparate parts of the world. Take a look at some of the biggest attacks of the last year:

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The Democratic National Committee Email Leak

The email dump at the DNC couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Democratic National Committee. A few weeks before millions of Americans were set to cast their ballots in the 2016 Presidential Election, the DNC was hit with a major data breach. Malicious hackers exposed internal communications to the public, which likely affected Democratic Hilary Clinton’s chances of success.

The attack was perpetrated by the controversial hacking organization known as WikiLeaks. They published nearly 20,000 emails and 8,000 attachments. WikiLeaks reportedly obtained these files from the hacker known as Guccifer 2.0.

The Dyn DDoS Attack in 2016

Dyn is one of the most widely used DNS platforms on the internet today. Hackers used a distributed denial-of service attack to generate a flood of artificial traffic on Dyn, causing its servers to crash. But this was no ordinary DDoS attack; the outage caused much of the internet to go dark. Internet users couldn’t access some of their favorite websites for several hours.

The 2017 WannaCry Ransomware Attack

WannaCry instantly became known as one of the most dangerous forms of malware ever created when it first came onto the map in 2017. It is believed to have been created by the North Korean government and propagated by “Lazarus Group,” the prime suspect in the Sony Pictures hack of 2014.

The malware ultimately spread to 99 different countries, holding vast amounts of sensitive information hostage until the victims paid the requested ransom. What’s troubling is that the scheme seems to have worked as the responsible parties were able to hide their tracks. So far, the Digital Wallet associated with the attack has raised 51.65 Bitcoins, which comes out to $1,914,593.19 based on current market values.

The attack shows the power and possible return on investment these attacks can have when they are sponsored by foreign governments.

Tracking the Latest Trends in Cyber

NopSec continues to monitor every major reported cyber attack to learn more about how these attacks were created and how much damage they inflicted on the intended victim. We regularly publish our findings to help our customers and other cybersecurity professionals better protect their assets from a possible attack. We also analyze the data to gain key insights into how these attacks are being waged around the world. For example, we detected a sudden spike in the number of reported attacks during the summer of 2016. The number of reported attacks also increased dramatically in 2016 compared to the years prior.

Our 2017 State of Vulnerability Risk Management Report is based on an analysis of over 1 million unique vulnerabilities found on our clients’ systems. Our clients were classified based on their respective industry with the following categories: Financial, Technology, Healthcare, and Other.

When tracking the number of reported vulnerabilities per industry, Healthcare came in first with 1,246 reported vulnerabilities, followed by Financial with 867, Technology with 618, and Other with 508.

When tracking the number of reported vulnerabilities per asset, Sun/Oracle accounted for approximately 51% of all reported vulnerabilities, followed by Adobe with 17%, Microsoft with 15%, and Mozilla with 2%. However, the types of assets affected varied from industry to industry, with Adobe and Sun/Oracle attacks more common in the Financial sector and OpenBSD more common in Healthcare.

We also found that Twitter has become the go-to source for hackers looking to test out proof of concepts. While some vulnerabilities have thousands of Twitter interactions, most vulnerabilities are never tweeted about or tweeted only once. The number of mentions a vulnerability receives on social media has become a reliable indicator of its potential risk level.

The cybersecurity industry and vulnerability management software continue to evolve as new threats and types of attacks gain popularity. Download the full 2017 State of Vulnerability Risk Management Repot from NopSec. In partnership with the AlienVault OTX Team, we have gathered and analyzed public, anonymized client vulnerability data, and OTX pulse data to present this year’s State of Vulnerability Risk Management Report.

  • Cyber Security Excellence Awards - Winner 2020
  • Cyber Security Excellence Awards - Winner 2019
  • Network Products Guide - IT World Awards 2019 Gold

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