12th October 2021 The growing threat of cybercrime

Latest cyberthreat intelligence shows ransomware skyrocketing

The past year has changed the way many of us interact with technology. More people than ever before are working remotely and rely on their devices and computers to keep them working consistently and productively. But with this change of circumstance comes a new vulnerability to cyberthreats and ransomware. High profile attacks such as Colonial Pipeline and Kaseya are just two examples of the rising number of threats hitting all businesses of all sizes. 2021 has been a record-setting year for cybercrime. And it’s not over yet.

The issue

In just the first half of 2021, global ransomware volume reached a staggering and unprecedented 304.7 million attempted attacks. This number already eclipses the number of attacks documented in the entirety of 2020. There is some hope that these concerning figures may not be indicative of the rest of the year. But even if we don’t record a single ransomware attempt in the second half of the year, 2021 will still be considered the worst year for ransomware that SonicWall has ever recorded.

New techniques

This new increase in attacks can be attributed to new ransomware techniques, soaring cryptocurrency prices, and the continued rise of IoT devices. But the most prominent factor is today’s changing IT landscape, which acts as an ideal environment for launching a variety of attacks.

“In a year driven by anxiety and uncertainty, cybercriminals have continued to accelerate attacks against innocent people and vulnerable institutions,” SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner said, “the latest data shows that sophisticated threat actors are tirelessly adapting their tactics and embracing ransomware to reap financial gain and sow discord.”


In response to this concerning rise in ransomware, the SonicWall Capture Labs Threat Research Team has worked harder than ever to gather and publish cross-threat information. The mid-year update to the SonicWall Cyber Threat Report states that, in just the first half of 2021, there were:

•     304.7 million ransomware attacks (+151% year-to-date increase)

•     2.5 trillion intrusion attempts (+9%)

•     185,945 never-before-seen malware variants identified by RTDMITM (+54%)

•     51.5 million cryptojacking hits (+23%)

•     32.2 million IoT malware attacks (+59%)

•     14% of malware attacks using non-standard ports

•     2.1 million encrypted threats (+26%)

•     2.5 billion malware attacks (-22%)

Looking forward

The information gathered by the SonicWall team paints a concerning image for businesses across the globe. It is important that in these unprecedented times, businesses equip themselves with the best tools to prevent employees falling victim to cyberthreats.

“With remote working still widespread, businesses continue to be highly exposed to risk, and criminals are acutely aware of uncertainty across the cyber landscape,” Conner said. “It’s crucial that organisations move toward a modern Boundless Cybersecurity approach to protect against both known and unknown threats, particularly when everyone is more remote, more mobile and less secure than ever.”

With the speed and magnitude of changes impacting the threat landscape — from the preferred methods of attack to who’s being targeted — it’s never been more important to stay updated on the risks of today, or to prepare for the risks of tomorrow.

SonicWall provides organisations with extensive threat reports to safeguard workforces and ensure businesses have visibility of the threats they are facing, and the tools needed to defend themselves.

For more information on how SonicWall can help protect your business, contact our Vendor Business Manager Ryan Kalisz, by emailing