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RiskSense Ransomware Spotlight Report Reveals Surge in Weaponized Vulnerabilities, New Targets and Ransomware-as-a-Service

  • Research Study Also Found that Ransomware Vulnerabilities have Quadrupled with Many Linked to APT Groups

RiskSense, Inc., pioneering risk-based vulnerability management and prioritization, announced the results of a new RiskSense Spotlight Report “Ransomware Through the Lens of Threat and Vulnerability Management” conducted with Cyber Security Works (CSW). Among the key findings, researchers uncovered that eight nation states linked to advanced persistent threat (APT) groups are incorporating ransomware as part of their arsenal to launch offensive cyber attacks.

RiskSense #Ransomware Spotlight Report reveals surge in weaponized vulnerabilities, new targets, ransomware-as-a-service, and usage by APT Groups

According to research firm Gartner, twenty-seven percent of malware incidents reported in 2020 can be attributed to ransomware… which can have a bigger impact on an organization than a data breach.

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Among the report’s key findings total vulnerabilities associated with ransomware quadrupled from 57 in our 2019 research to 223 in 2020, while the number of ransomware families mushroomed to 125 from 19 over the same period. Meanwhile, old is still gold when it comes to ransomware. Nearly all (96%) of the common vulnerability exposures (CVEs) linked to ransomware were reported to the US National Vulnerability Database (NVD) before 2020. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications emerged as a new target for ransomware, and had the highest count of vulnerabilities that were seen trending with active exploits. Finally, more than 15 active families are being offered as ransomware-as-a-service, enabling just about anyone to launch ransomware attacks without coding or security expertise.

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“Over the past year, ransomware has continued to evolve with concerning new developments including its utilization by nation state actors and the growing availability of ransomware-as-a service,” said Srinivas Mukkamala, CEO of RiskSense. “From a defensive perspective these findings, especially the continued use of older and lower criticality vulnerabilities by ransomware, illustrate the need for an increased threat-context and risk-based approach to vulnerability management. Knowing which CVEs are actively being exploited, have dangerous capabilities and are being used by ransomware must be part of the decision making process for prioritizing remediation and patching.”

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