Cyber-threats ‘to become more frequent and destructive’

Accenture suggests perpetrators are largely looking to disrupt business operations, make money or conduct espionage

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Global organisations, nations and their critical infrastructure will likely experience more frequent and more destructive cyber-attacks in the near-future.

That’s according to a new report from Accenture, which suggests the perpetrators are likely to be highly funded rogue nation states and cyber-criminals looking to disrupt business operations, make money or spy on targets.

It says this is increasingly enabled by growth in the numbers and diversity of threat actors, as well as the greater availability of exploits, tools, encryption and anonymous payment systems available to malicious parties.

Specifically, the report predicts an escalation of Iran-based cyber-threat activity, with groups linked to the country expanding their capabilities – it claims they are likely to target global organisations by using ransomware as well as cryptocurrency miners for financial gain.

It also warns of broadening attacks on global supply chains to disrupt operations and the increased targeting of critical infrastructure, as energy systems become smarter and more reliant on computerised technologies.

Accenture adds rising oil prices could create incentives for threat actors in North Korea to launch ransomware attacks and other financially motivated cyber threat activities in order to circumvent sanctions and raise money.

Josh Ray, Managing Director at Accenture Security, said: “To protect against these emerging threats and respond if they should fall victim to an attack, organisations must be proactive in thinking about business risk on a day-to-day basis.”

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