2020 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report

Learn about persistent cyberattacks that create boundless points of exposure to your organization.

The boundaries of your organization are borderless and expand to limitless endpoints and networks. Meanwhile, the threat landscape becomes increasingly elusive. And you’re tasked to protect it all — the known and the unknown.

Intelligence for the 2020 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report was sourced from real-world data gathered by the SonicWall Capture Threat Network, which securely monitors and collects information from global devices and resources, including:

  • More than 1.1 million security sensors in nearly 215 countries and territories.
  • Cross‐vector, threat‐related information shared among SonicWall security systems, including firewalls, email security devices, endpoint security solutions, honeypots, content filtering systems, and the SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) multi‐engine sandbox.
  • SonicWall internal malware analysis automation framework.
  • Malware and IP reputation data from tens of thousands of firewalls and email security devices around the globe.
  • Shared threat intelligence from more than 50 industry collaboration groups and research organizations.
  • Analysis from freelance security researchers.

The modern cybercriminal acts with purpose. These criminal operations are business-focused and budget-conscious. If a particular strategy didn’t provide the returns expected, they would pivot toward a more effective plan. They are efficient enterprises with modern business plans.

For the last five years, cybercriminals have overwhelmed organizations with sheer volume. Their objective was simple: cast as big a net as possible and reap the rewards. But as cyber defenses evolved, this approach was no longer practical. More volume was not resulting in higher paydays. A change was in order.

In 2018, cybercriminals dialed back untargeted salvos in favor of more evasive attacks against “softer” targets. This approach was even more recognizable in 2019 as total volume waned. Still, attacks were more targeted with higher degrees of success, particularly against the healthcare industry and state, provincial, and local governments. All told, SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers recorded 9.9 billion malware attacks* in 2019 — a slight 6% year-over-year decrease.

Preparing for What’s Next

The evasive and persistent cyberattacks outlined in this report create boundless points of exposure to your organization. These fast-moving dynamics affect even the well-funded or intentioned organizations, damaging their ability to operate. The risk escalates exponentially. Cost becomes prohibitive. The shortage of trained personnel becomes more acute. Constrained resources can’t keep up.

SonicWall takes pride in collaborating with the global cybersecurity community and ensuring our teams and capabilities are finely tuned to exceed your business and security objectives. With SonicWall, you always know the unknown, see everything in real-time, and act fast on what matters — preventing even the most evasive emerging threats.

This highly detailed 38-page security downloadable report includes a cover letter from SonicWall president and CEO, Bill Conner, and detailed infographics and diagrams.