According to a report published by IBM on security threats in Latin America, companies from the manufacturing sector are feeling the greatest impact of attacks orchestrated by ransomware gangs.
Ransomware, corporate email compromise, and credential harvesting together brought bring sector companies to a standstill in Latin America in 2021, further straining supply chains, the X-Force Threat Intelligence Index has found. In Brazil, ransomware was the primary attack method used by perpetrators last year, accounting for 32% of the security incidents.
Manufacturing companies were the most attacked sector in Brazil, representing 20% of the ransomware attacks in 2021. According to the study, this reflects a global trend as cybercriminals found a vantage point in the critical role manufacturing organizations plays in global supply chains to pressure victims to pay ransoms.
Accounting for 17% of the ransomware attacks in 2021, the mining sector is the second most targeted by ransomware gangs. The professional services, energy and retail segments account for 15% of attacks, following manufacturing and mining as Brazil's most targeted sectors.
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According to the report, the average lifespan of a ransomware group before going out of business or rebranding is 17 months. REvil was the most common type of ransomware, covering 50% of attacks that IBM's X-Force practice remedied in Latin America.
Moreover, the researchers noted that the rate of business email compromise (BEC) attacks is higher in Latin America than in any other part of the world, accelerating from 0% in 2019 to 26% in 2021 in Brazil. BEC was the second most common type of attack in the region. Unpatched vulnerabilities caused 18% of the attacks in 2021.
The study says that Latin America saw a 4% increase in cyberattacks in 2021 compared to the previous year. The research suggests that Brazil, Mexico and Peru were the most attacked countries in the region last year.
A separate report on cyber threats published by SonicWall earlier this month has found that Brazil is only behind the US, Germany and the UK in ransomware attacks. With over 33 million intrusion attempts in 2021, the country ranked ninth in the same ranking in the prior year, with 3,8 million ransomware attacks.