According to a report on malware and cyber threats published a few days ago by Trend Micro, a cybersecurity company, in 2020 as many as 16.7 million emails were blocked because they contained high-risk threats that had passed through the filters of email applications found on the web, such as the best-known Gmail.
These threats have increased by a third compared to 2019, according to Trend Micro data, partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lisa Dolcini, Head of Marketing at Trend Micro Italy, explained:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organizations to accelerate their digital transformation plans and SaaS apps have become indispensable for remote work. Unfortunately, wherever there are users, there are threats, and cybercriminals have targeted the weakest points in the enterprise, which have been made even more fragile by the pandemic. Trend Micro Cloud App Security has been indispensable in providing an extra layer of protection, and each of the threats we’ve intercepted represents a foiled risk of suffering a data theft, ransomware attack or something even more serious”.
Malware, credential theft and phishing emails doubled in 2020, while scams compromising corporate emails saw a small decrease.
Details of the 2020 malware report
Trend Micro detected 1.1 million emails containing malware, an increase of even 16% compared to 2019.
In addition, 6.9 million phishing emails were found, a 19% increase on the previous year, not counting attempts to steal credentials.
The relationship between Covid-19 and web threats
The number of email threats during Covid-19 increased by 41% compared to the previous year.
This increase occurred during the pandemic due to less protection of, for example, private computers and Internet connections that are often unsuitable for business use. Usually, at home, people pay less attention to viruses, whereas business connections or corporate PCs are more protected.