Cyberattacks on Portuguese organisations rose 81% in 2021

The data also found that companies and institutions in the education, healthcare, military and public administration sectors were particularly at risk. [Rob Engelaar/EPA/EFE]

The average weekly number of cyberattacks on Portuguese organisations increased by 81% year-on-year in 2021, with one organisation being attacked 881 times a week according to data from Check Point Research.

The data also found that companies and institutions in the education, healthcare, military and public administration sectors were particularly at risk.

“In 2021, the peak was recorded in December, much due to the vulnerability in Log4J. In Portugal, an organisation was attacked on average 881 times a week, an increase of 81% compared to 2020,” Check Point Research (CPR), the ‘threat intelligence’ area of Check Point Software Technologies, a provider of cybersecurity solutions, indicated in a statement.

Globally, the number of cyber-attacks per week increased by 50% last year, with the peak occurring in December “largely due to the Log4J vulnerability”.

The most affected sectors worldwide were education/research (with a 75% increase) and healthcare (71%).

According to the analysis, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America were the top targets for cyber-attacks against organisations.

However, Europe saw the highest percentage increase (68%) in cyberattacks.

“New techniques for penetrating systems and methods of evasion have made it much easier for hackers to carry out their malicious intentions,” said Omer Dembinsky, data research manager at Check Point Software, quoted in the same document, noting that some industries “central” to society are increasingly moving up the list of most attacked.

He also said that the numbers are expected to increase in 2022, “with hackers continuously innovating and seeking new methods to execute cyber-attacks, especially ransomware”.

Omer Dembinsky also recommended downloading ‘patches’, segmenting networks and making employees aware of these issues.

(Pedro Emídio and Alexandra Noronha | Lusa.pt)

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