Half of global firms supply chains compromised by ransomware

New research from Trend Micro has revealed great visibility challenges among global businesses as the attack surface expands

Global cybersecurity company, Trend Micro, announced new research today that reveals global organisations are increasingly at risk of ransomware compromise via their extensive supply chains.

Trend Micro commissioned Sapio Research in May and June 2022 to poll 2,958 IT decision makers across 26 countries. The research revealed that 79% of global IT leaders believe their partners and customers are making their own organisation a more attractive ransomware target. The challenge is particularly acute considering that potentially less well-secured SMBs make up a 'significant' portion of the supply chain for over half (52%) of these organisations.

A year ago, a sophisticated attack on a provider of IT management software led to the compromise of scores of MSPs and thousands of downstream customers. Yet only 47% of organisations share knowledge about ransomware attacks with their suppliers. Additionally, 25% said they don’t share potentially useful threat information with partners.

This could be because organisations don’t have information to share in the first place. Detection rates were worryingly low for ransomware activities including:

  • Ransomware payloads (63%)
  • Legitimate tooling e.g., PSexec, Cobalt Strike (53%)
  • Data exfiltration (49%)
  • Initial access (42%)
  • Lateral movement (31%)

Bharat Mistry, Technical Director at Trend Micro says: "We found that 52% of global organisations have had a supply chain organisation hit by ransomware, potentially putting their own systems at risk of compromise.

"But many aren’t taking steps to improve partner cybersecurity. The first step towards mitigating these risks must be enhanced visibility into and control over the expanding digital attack surface.”

The supply chain can also be exploited by attackers to gain leverage over their targets. Among organisations that had experienced a ransomware attack in the past three years, 67% said their attackers contacted customers and/or partners about the breach to force payment.

Read the full report here

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