2024 shows huge leap in cyber threats

Geopolitical unrest is creating a perfect storm of cyber and physical threats according to a new report.

Threat data and intelligence company Flashpoint has its 2024 Global Threat Intelligence Report which found the past year has seen a convergence of cyber and physical threats exacerbated by escalating geopolitical unrest.

The report found a 34.5% year-over-year increase in reported data breach incidents, with over 17 billion records compromised in 2023 alone.

The first two months of 2024 witnessed a 429% spike in stolen or leaked personal data compared to the same period in the previous year. The United States represented more than 60% of the global data breach total, reporting 3,804 data breaches—a 19.8% increase compared to 2022.

The report also highlighted an increase in ransomware attacks with a significant rise in attacks across all sectors, with an 84% increase in documented incidents in 2023. The bad news continued with the first two months of 2024 having already seen a 23% increase in public ransomware attacks compared to the same period in 2023.

The report added: “As we move forward into 2024, the data breach landscape is seeing a significant spike in stolen or leaked personal data. From January 1 – February 29, 2024, threat actors compromised 1.897 billion personal records and credentials—a 429% increase compared to the same period last year. Five data breach incidents have had an outsized impact.”

Flashpoint CEO, Josh Lefkowitz, said: “In the evolving landscape of global security, where cyber and physical threats increasingly converge, the Flashpoint 2024 Global Threat Intelligence Report offers a critical examination of the current threat environment.”

He added: “Cyber threats remain at the forefront of global security challenges, as opportunistic and resilient adversaries exploit vulnerabilities through sophisticated tactics. Our annual report details the continuing surge of ransomware attacks, data breach trends, and the exploitation of vulnerabilities, underscoring the evolving nature of cyber risks.

“Sectors rich in sensitive and confidential data continue to be prime targets, emphasising the critical need for robust cybersecurity measures and actionable intelligence to counter threats and protect assets.”

Lefkowitz continued: “Looking ahead through 2024, we see the ongoing convergence of cyber and physical threats exacerbated by escalating geopolitical unrest. These include crucial elections, the continuous conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas War, and strategic tensions in the Taiwan Strait, each adding layers of complexity to the global threat landscape. “

“A notable highlight of our annual report is its focus on the central role of open-source intelligence (OSINT) in addressing not only cyber threats but also physical security challenges.”

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