The Cybersecurity Tipping Point: US presidential election, COVID-19 Create Perfect Storm for Increasingly Sophisticated Cyberattacks


VMware Carbon Black has released its Global Incident Response Threat Report, an analysis of the latest attack trends seen by the world’s top incident response (IR) firms. The report examines trends across nation-state attacks, election-related markets on the dark web, and how COVID-19 has created the perfect storm for increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.

Key highlights of the report include:

  • Incidents of counter IR are at an all-time high, occurring in 82% of IR engagements – suggesting the prevalence of increasingly sophisticated, often nation-state attackers, who have the resources and cyber savvy to colonise victims’ networks. Destructive attacks, which are often the final stage of counter IR have also surged, with respondents estimating victims experience them 54% of the time.
  • 55% of cyberattacks target the victim’s digital infrastructure for the purpose of island hopping. The pandemic has left organisations increasingly vulnerable to such attacks as their employees shift to remote work – and less secure home networks and devices.
  • Custom malware is now being used in 50% of attacks. This demonstrates the scale of the dark web, where such malware and malware services can be purchased to empower traditional criminals, spies and terrorists, many of whom do not have the sophisticated resources to execute these attacks.
  • Cybersecurity remains a top concern and nation-state attackers pose a significant threat to the upcoming presidential election. Drawing upon their security expertise – and in line with recent advisories from Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – 73% of respondents believe there will be foreign influence on the 2020 presidential election, and 60% believe it will be influenced by a cyberattack. When asked which countries could be the source of such attempts, IR and cybersecurity professionals named Russia (58%), North Korea (27%) and Iran (19%)

Access the report here.