Check Point 2015 Security Report Paints a Picture of the Threat Landscape—And it’s Not Pretty

This month, Check Point released its annual security report—a trove of statistics and trends culled from collaborative research and in-depth analysis of more than 300,000 hours of monitored network traffic, from more than 16,000 Threat Prevention gateways and one million smartphones. The bottom line, to state the obvious: Things are getting worse out there. Hackers are becoming smarter, and their tools and methods are evolving. They are now capable of much more damage than ever before. To secure your organization, you need to be more proactive and constantly update your security infrastructure. Understanding the trends and areas where hackers are zeroing in is a good first step.


Key findings:


Known and Unknown Malware Increased Exponentially

In 2014, we saw malware rising at alarming rates. This year’s report revealed that 106 unknown malware hit an organization every hour: 48 times more than the 2.2 downloads per hour reported in 2013. Unknown malware will continue to threaten organizations in the future, especially as businesses get smarter about the fundamentals of patching and updating software and being more vigilant about scanning networks for known viruses and malware. Cybercriminals also continue to use bots to amplify and accelerate the spread of malware. In fact, 83 percent of organizations studied were infected with bots in 2014, allowing constant communication and data sharing between bots and their command and control servers.


Mobile Devices Are a Company’s Biggest Vulnerability

Mobile devices are weak links in the security chain, providing easier direct access to valuable organizational assets than any other intrusion point. Check Point research found that for an organization with more than 2,000 devices on its network, there’s a 50 percent chance that there are at least 6 infected or targeted mobile devices. 72 percent of IT providers agreed that their top mobile security challenge is securing corporate information, and 67 percent said their second biggest challenge is managing personal devices that store both corporate and personal data.


Using High-Risk Applications Comes at a High Price

Corporations frequently rely on applications to help their business be more organized and streamlined. But, the rise of ‘shadow IT’ applications that aren’t sponsored or supported by the central IT organization has led to some risky business. Our research revealed that 96 percent of organizations used at least one high-risk application in 2014, a 10 point increase from the previous year. Check Point research also unveiled that 12.7 high-risk application events happen every hour. For cybercriminals, that’s a fantastic opportunity to access the corporate network.


Data Loss Is Top of Mind

Cybercriminals are not the only threat to the integrity and security of corporate data. Sometimes the threat comes from within. Check Point found that 81 percent of the organizations analyzed suffered a data loss incident, up 41 percent from 2013. Data can unknowingly leak out of any organization for a variety of reasons, most of those tied to current and past employee actions. While most security strategies focus on protecting data from hackers coming in, it is equally important to protect data from the inside out.


In our security report, we drill down even deeper on these topics and provide snapshots of notable security incidents and how they were able to be pulled off. To learn more about the degree of infiltration and sophistication of new threats in the enterprise, download the report. And, stay tuned for upcoming blogs that will provide more insight into why and how these trends are happening.