IBM Reveals Startling Increase in Cyberattacks Using Compromised Accounts

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Summary:
1. IBM’s 2024 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index shows an alarming rise in cyberattacks exploiting compromised accounts, with 50% of attacks in the UK involving the exploitation of valid accounts as the initial attack vector.
2. Cybercriminals are increasingly using compromised credentials to gain access to enterprise systems, contributing to a 66% year-over-year increase in attacks caused by the use of valid accounts in Europe.
3. IBM recommends a strategic approach to address cybersecurity challenges, emphasizing the strengthening of critical security measures and the integration of modern security protocols to mitigate risks.

In a report released by IBM, it was revealed that cybercriminals are exploiting valid user accounts to gain access to corporate networks, making this tactic the weapon of choice for threat actors. IBM’s 2024 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, based on monitoring more than 150 billion security events per day in over 130 countries, shows that the criminal ecosystem has adapted quickly, with a 266% increase in data-stealing malware designed to harvest personal and business credentials. The report highlights that 50% of cyberattacks in the UK involved the exploitation of valid accounts as the initial attack vector, and a further 25% exploited public applications. Additionally, the findings emphasize the need for a strategic approach to address cybersecurity challenges, emphasizing the strengthening of critical security measures and the integration of modern security protocols to mitigate risks.

Julian Davis, CEO of techUK, echoed the concerns highlighted in the report, stating that businesses must take a strategic approach to integrate modern security protocols to mitigate risks and strengthen their defenses against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. The report also revealed that 30% of security incidents in the UK were attributed to malware, with ransomware and cryptominers being the main types of malware. Globally, IBM attacks targeted critical infrastructure organizations, indicating that cybercriminals are banking on the need for high-value uptime. IBM recommends companies to reduce potential radius incidents, test environments, develop robust incident response plans, and prioritize security in underlying infrastructure when adopting AI technologies.

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