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Blocked 438mn email-borne threats in India in H1 2020: Trend Micro

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Bengaluru: Global cybersecurity firm Trend Micro on Thursday said it blocked 438 million email-borne cyber threats in India in the first half of this year which represented the third-highest numbers in Asia.

Globally, it blocked 27.8 billion cyber threats in the first half of 2020, 93 percent of which were email-borne, according to the company’s annual mid-year roundup report.

Trend Micro said that it blocked 8.8 million Covid-19 related threats in the first half of this year, nearly 92 percent of which were spam delivered via emails.

The company also saw the introduction of several malicious Covid-19 related mobile apps during the first half of 2020. Globally and within Asia, India ranked third highest accounting for 7.5 percent of malicious mobile apps blocked by Trend Micro.

The use of COVID-19-themed traps to deliver malware was also common. India again ranked third highest in the list, contributing to 4.1 percent malware detected by Trend Micro.

Business Email Compromise (BEC) detections increased by 18 percent from the second half of 2019, in part due to scammers trying to capitalise on home workers being more exposed to social engineering.

“The pandemic has dominated all of our lives during the first half of 2020, but it’s not slowing down the cybercriminals,” Nilesh Jain, Vice President, Southeast Asia and India, Trend Micro, said in a statement.

Among all the threats in the first half of the year, ransomware was a constant factor. Although the number of detected ransomware threats decreased, Trend Micro saw a 36 percent increase in new ransomware families compared to the same time last year.

“IT leaders must continue to adapt their cybersecurity strategies to account for increased threats to their new normal,” Jain said.

“That means protecting remote endpoints, cloud systems, user credentials and VPN systems, as well as refreshing training courses to turn that newly dispersed workforce into a more effective first line of defence.”

As cybercriminals shifted their focus from January through June to take advantage of global interest in the pandemic, the risk to businesses was compounded by security gaps created by a completely remote workforce.

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