SonicWall report reveals how cyber-criminal tactics evolved during pandemic

March 17, 2021


The latest 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report has revelaed how the methods of threat actors and motivated perpetrators evolved throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Threat actors weaponising cloud storage and tools”

The company’s report – which has been published on the SonicWall website – has highlighted how many factors surrounding the pandemic provided cyber-criminals with the opportunity to carry out numerous, powerful attacks on mobile and remote workforces navigating corporate networks from home.

SonicWall President and CEO, Bill Conner, remarked: “2020 offered a perfect storm for cyber-criminals and a critical tipping point for the cyber arms race.

“The pandemic — along with remote work, a charged political climate, record prices of cryptocurrency, and threat actors weaponising cloud storage and tools — drove the effectiveness and volume of cyber-attacks to new highs. This latest threat intelligence offers a look at how cyber-criminals shifted and refined their tactics, painting a picture of what they are doing amid the uncertain future that lies ahead.

“There is no code of conduct when it comes to cyber-criminals, their methods of attacks and the selection of their targets,” he added. “Technology is moving at an unprecedented rate. Threats that were once thought to be two or three years away are now a reality, with do-it-yourself, cloud-based tools creating an army of cyber-criminals armed with the same devastating force and impact of a nation-state or larger criminal enterprise. Organisations must remain vigilant and proactive in hardening their cybersecurity posture.”

SonicWall Cyber Threat Report

Some of the major findings of the new SonicWall report include:

Ransomware reaches new heights – a 62% increase in ransomware globally, and 158% spike in North America.

Ryuk ransomware sees astronomical increase – with 109.9 million cases detected worldwide, Ryuk was logged nearly every eight seconds in September alone.

New malware variants identified – SonicWall’s newly patented Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMI) discovered 268,362 ‘never-before-seen’ malware variants in 2020, a 74% year-over-year increase.

IoT malware increases as pandemic creates potential network of disruption – SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers recorded 56.9 million IoT malware attempts, a 66% increase that showed shifting tactics for lurking cybercriminals.

To download the complete 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, visit

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