Accenture report shows volume of cyber-intrusion activity globally jumped 125%

The security company found that 54% of all ransomware or extortion victims were companies with annual revenues between $1 billion and $9.9 billion.

A new report from Accenture has found that for the first half of 2021, the volume of cyber intrusion activity is up 125% globally compared to last year.

Accenture said the report is based on their work with clients recovering from incidents. They attributed the increase in intrusions to web shell activity, ransomware incidents and supply chain attacks. 

While the US (36%) led the way as it usually does on the list of most targeted countries, the UK (24%) and Australia (11%) were not far behind.

Consumer goods and services companies faced the highest number of attacks among Accenture's customers, followed by organizations in the manufacturing industry, banking and hospitality. 

Robert Boyce, who leads Accenture's Cyber Investigations, Forensics & Response business globally, said organizations are only protecting their core corporate systems and leaving themselves vulnerable to attack through third-parties and other supply chains they are part of. 

Any subsidiary or affiliate also needs to be secured, Boyce said. 

"Industries that previously experienced lower levels of cyberattacks during the pandemic -- such as consumer good & services, industrials, travel & hospitality, and retail -- should reevaluate their cybersecurity posture as increased consumer activity in these industries present renewed opportunities for cybercriminals," Boyce added. 

Ransomware dominated the report's section on malware, with the now-defunct REvil/Sodinokibi group accounting for 25% of attacks seen by Accenture's team. 

Accenture's insurance industry customers were targeted most often by ransomware groups making up 23% of all ransomware targets. Consumer goods and services companies, as well as telecommunications companies, were targeted heavily as well. 

The report also made clear what their main targets are. The report found that 54% of all ransomware or extortion victims were companies with annual revenues between $1 billion and $9.9 billion.

The researchers also found that there has been a rise in the number of backdoors, droppers and credential stealers being used by cybercriminals in the first half of 2021.