A mid-year review of the cybersecurity threat landscape has said that cyberattacks have emerged as a key State-level weapon. State-sponsored hacktivism and ‘extortion’ too are seen as a key trend, according to a Check Point Research report.

Hacktivism is something where politically or socially motivated hackers sneak into computer networks to settle political scores.

The report says the remainder of the year could see initial attacks on Metaverse as more and more organisations begin to deploy Metaverse solutions.

Ransomware has become the number one threat in the first six months of the year 2022, the report said.

There was a spurt in the number of cloud supply chain attacks through new sources of modules in the open-source community, Check Point Research, the Threat Intelligence arm of cybersecurity solutions firm Check Point, said.

“The full scale of cyber’s ability to cause real harm to citizens, though, is best illustrated by the attack on the entire country of Costa Rica which crippled essential services. including healthcare and inland revenue, stopping medical appointments and the collection of taxes,” Maya Horowitz, VP Research at Check Point Software, said.

“The impact of Ukraine-Russia war on the cyber space has been dramatic in both scope and scale, and we have seen huge increases in cyberattacks against organisations in all sectors and all countries this year,” she pointed out.

This could only get worse especially with ransomware now being the number one threat to organizations. However, with the right expertise, strategy and cybersecurity solutions in place, companies are able to prevent attacks from happening.

Predictions for second half

The research firm said that ransomware will become a much more fragmented ecosystem in the second half of the calendar year. While ransomware groups have become more structured and operate like regular businesses, with set targets to hit, there will be a lesson learned from the Conti ransomware group, whose size and power garnered too much attention, which led to its downfall. “Going forward, we think there will be many small-medium groups instead of a few large ones, to hide in plain sight more effectively,” he said.

Hacktivism to grow

The report said hacktivism will continue to evolve as the hacktivist groups align their attacks with the agenda of their chosen nation state. The hackers will continue to attack decentralized blockchain networks.