Most Ransomware Infections are Self-installed

Most Ransomware Infections are Self-installed

New research from managed detection and response (MDR) provider Expel found that most ransomware attacks in 2021 were self-installed. 

The finding was included in the company’s inaugural annual report on cybersecurity trends and predictions, Great eXpeltations, published on Thursday. 

Researchers found eight out of ten ransomware infections occurred after victims unwittingly opened a zipped file containing malicious code. Abuse of third-party access accounted for 3% of all ransomware incidents, and 4% were caused by exploiting a software vulnerability on the perimeter.

The report was based on the analysis of data aggregated from Expel’s security operations center (SOC) concerning incidents spanning January 1 2021 to December 31 2021. 

Other key findings were that 50% of incidents were BEC (business email compromise) attempts, with SaaS apps a top target. 

More than 90% of those attacks were geared towards Microsoft O365, while assaults against Google Workspace accounted for fewer than 1% of incidents. The remaining 9% targeted Okta.

Ransomware attacks accounted for 13% of all opportunistic attacks. The five most targeted industries in descending order were legal services, communications, financial services, real estate and entertainment. 

In addition, 35% of web app compromises Expel responded to resulted in the deployment of a

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