Cyberattacks reached record-setting levels in 2021, thanks in part to Log4J

Cyberattacks on corporate networks increased 50 percent in 2021 compared to the previous year and reached an all-time high of roughly 925 attacks a week per organization, globally, last month during the height of the Log4J scare.

The Log4J zero-day vulnerability surfaced in early December and quickly morphed into a major problem. Amit Yoran, head of cybersecurity firm Tenable, described it as the single biggest, most critical vulnerability of the last decade – and perhaps even the biggest in modern computing history.

Check Point Research in its latest report said education and research industries experienced the highest volume of attacks in 2021 with an average of 1,605 attacks per organization each week. The military and government sector also saw an uptick in attacks, fielding an average of 1,079 each week and resulting in a 47 percent increase year over year.

In fact, every industry that Check Point tracked saw a significant increase in attacks last year.

Geographically, Africa was hit hardest by cyberattacks followed by APAC, Latin America, Europe and North America (in that order). Attack frequency increases year-over-year ranged from 13 percent on the low side in Africa to a whopping 68 percent increase in Europe.

Check Point said all too often, organizations come under attack after failing to apply a patch for a known vulnerability.

The security company recommends segmenting networks and putting strong firewall and ISP safeguards between them in order to keep infections from propagating across the entire network. It’s also a good idea to educate employees to recognize tell-tale signs of potential threats and train them to report unusual findings to security teams immediately.