First Half of 2021 Report: 75% of Threats Delivered Via Email

While many aspects of cybersecurity continue to evolve, one area appears to remain the same: email is still the most popular way for malware and other threats to be delivered to victims. In a recent HP Wolf Security Threat Insights Report report, findings reported 75% of threats were sent via email in the first half of 2021 (reference). Surprisingly, only 1% of phishing attempts mentioned COVID-19, a 77% drop from the second half of 2020. 

What is the HP report, and what else did it find?

The HP Wolf Security Threat Insights Report is put together by HP security analysts based on customer-provided threat alerts. Companies provide their threat alerts to HP, compiling them and providing a detailed report of the findings.

Here’s what else the report found:

  1. 65% increase in hacking tools downloaded from underground forums and file sharing websites (timeline: H1 2020 to H1 2021). 
  2. Most targeted industry sectors: shipping, maritime, property and industrial supplies, commodity trading, manufacturing.
  3. 24% rise in threats downloaded using web browsers — this was driven primarily by cryptocurrency mining software.
  4. 50% of email phishing lures used invoices and business transactions as their method.
  5. 15% of email phishing lures were replied to intercepted email threads.
  6. The continued use of pirated hacking tools and underground forums enables low-level threat actors to pose serious security risks to organizations.

What’s the takeaway?

While the details are new, the big picture is that little has changed. The world of cybersecurity threats continues to be full of dangers. Users and employees continue to fall victim to simple attacks over and over again. Simple email phishing and malware continue to attract naive users. Organizations need to start and/or continue taking these security threats seriously. Invest in a quality IT security team that can handle the size or scope of your organization. IT security will continue to be a differentiator in those organizations that experience success and resilience in the long run.

We’re here to help. Reach out and ask us if we have experience supporting your industry. With countless clients across the Greater Phoenix Area, the PK Tech team has a large scope of industry experience with differing organization sizes. Get in touch with us if you are interested in learning how to support IT security at your organization.