IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

More than 40 billion records exposed in 2021 - research

By Shannon Williams
Fri 21 Jan 2022

New research by Tenable has found at least 40,417,167,937 records were exposed worldwide in 2021. 

According to the research calculated by Tenables Security Response Teams analysis of 1,825 breach data incidents publicly disclosed between November 2020 and October 2021, this is a considerable increase in the same period in 2020, which saw 730 publicly disclosed events with just over 22 billion records exposed. 

Of the 1,825 breaches analysed, 236 happened in APAC, with at least 3,463,489,341 exposed records, representing 8.6% of the global tally. This analysis is detailed in Tenables' 2021 Threat Landscape Retrospective (TLR) report, and includes an overview of the attack path and vulnerabilities threat actors favour, and insights that will help organisations prepare to face the oncoming challenges in 2022.

By understanding threat actor behaviour, organisations can effectively prioritise security efforts to disrupt attack paths and protect critical systems and assets. Analysis of the events for this report found that many are readily mitigated by patching legacy vulnerabilities and addressing misconfigurations to help limit attack paths.

Ransomware had a monumental impact on organisations in 2021, responsible for approximately 38% of all breaches, and 31% of breaches in APAC.

In APAC, 10% of breaches were the result of unsecured cloud databases, higher than the global average (6%).

Unpatched SSL VPNs continue to provide an ideal entry point for attackers to perform cyberespionage, exfiltrate sensitive and proprietary information as well as encrypt networks.

Threat groups, particularly ransomware, have increasingly exploited vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in Active Directory.

Software libraries and network stacks used commonly amongst OT devices often introduce additional risk when security controls and code audits are not in place.

Ransomware groups favoured physical supply chain disruption as a tactic to extort payment while cyberespionage campaigns exploited the software supply chain to access sensitive data.

Whilst healthcare and education remain the most-targeted industries worldwide, APAC shows another picture, with the technology industry and governments being the two largest victims of breaches.

"In their 2020/2021 report, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) emphasised how ransomware and exploitation of unpatched vulnerabilities were two key root causes of cyber incidents and data breaches among Australian organisations," says Satnam Narang, Staff Research Engineer, Tenable. 

"Our findings show a similar trend, in that most data breaches in APAC stem from the same origins, demonstrating the multifaceted threat landscape facing Australian security leaders.

"With many organisations accelerating their digital transformation and adoption of SaaS solutions, and the democratisation of hybrid work models, the nature of an organisations network has changed drastically," he says. 

" It is essential that security leaders focus on building a stronger understanding of all the potential attack paths on their systems, and leverage available security frameworks such as the Essential Eight to bolster their cyber defences."

Narang says staying on top of patching assets is difficult enough given the sheer volume of disclosed vulnerabilities, but in 2021 it was even more challenging due to incomplete patches, miscommunications from vendors and patch bypasses.

In 2021, there were 21,957 common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) reported, representing a 19.6% increase over the 18,358 reported in 2020 and a 241% increase over the 6,447 disclosed in 2016. From 2016 to 2021 the number of CVEs increased at an average annual percentage growth rate of 28.3%.

Throughout the year, Tenables Security Response Team tracks and reports on vulnerabilities and security incidents, providing guidance to security professionals as they plan their response strategies. The teams work gives them the opportunity to closely observe the ever-changing dynamics of the threat landscape.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
SaaS
MedCart achieves close to AUD$10 million in sales with help from Marketplacer tech
Australian health and medical start-up MedCart has achieved annual sales of close to AUD$10 million in less than 12 months, utilising Marketplacer marketplace technology to help achieve successful results.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
The post-pandemic workforce requires secure IAM capabilities
HID Global discusses what identity and access management means for organisations in today's convoluted digital world.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft previews Power Platform website design offering
Microsoft has announced the preview of Power Pages, the fifth product in its Power Platform family, designed for low-code makers and professional developers.
Story image
Ponemon Institute
Email revealed to be riskiest channel for data loss
More than half (60%) of organisations experienced data loss or exfiltration caused by an employee mistake on email in the last 12 months.
Story image
Ransomware
APAC organisations fail to disclose ransomware breaches
85% of organisations in APAC were breached by ransomware at least once in the past five years, but only 28% publicly disclosed the incident.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Frost & Sullivan recognises Genesys as leader in new reports
Frost & Sullivan has recognised Genesys as a leader in the cloud contact centre market for its robust cloud and digital capabilities.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Barracuda expands cloud-native SASE platform
"The expansion of Barracuda's cloud-native SASE platform for hybrid deployment models and IIoT environments solves a number of challenges."
Story image
Digital Marketing
Similarweb acquires SEO and rank tracking company Rank Ranger
Digital intelligence company Similarweb, which specialises in analysing web traffic, has acquired Rank Ranger, a market leader in SEO and rank tracking.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Harnessing digital innovations to maximise loyalty programmes and improve CX
When it comes to the retail sector, merchants have never had access to so many different client touchpoints and data to understand their customers better.
Story image
Phishing
MailGuard warns of new scam targeting Telstra customers
Telstra customers in Australia are being warned of a new scam involving "Unsuccessful Payment" messages.
Story image
Training
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Devastating cyber attacks expected to hit energy sector
Energy executives anticipate life, property, and environment-compromising cyber attacks on the sector within the next two years.
Story image
Digital Signage
MAXHUB's Digital Signage range to bolster boardroom productivity
The new MAXHUB Digital Signage technology is purpose-built to make every kind of team meeting more effective.
Story image
Kubernetes
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Check Point
Check Point and CCTV expert join forces to boost protection
The partnership will involve Check Point Quantum IoT Protect Nano Agent being embedded in Provision-ISR’s CCTV cameras for on-device runtime protection.
Story image
Vectra AI
Vectra’s inaugural Partner of the Year Awards revealed
APAC companies Baidam, Firmus, ShellSoft and Macnica have been recognised in Vectra AI's inaugural Partner of the Year Awards.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft, Cloudian partnership offers data center flexibility
Cloudian’s HyperStore object storage platform is now integrated and validated to work with Microsoft SQ Server 2022, offering more flexible and scalable data centers.
Story image
Women in Technology
Huawei webinar emphasises the importance of women in tech
Industry findings by Coursera discussed as part of a webinar jointly organised by Huawei and Reuters Events found 6% more women enrolled in tech courses this year than in 2021.
Story image
Boost Mobile
Boost Mobile now makes up over 7% of Aussie prepaid market
Boost Mobile has doubled its market share over the past four years and now has more than 7% of Australia's prepaid market, equivalent to over 700,000 people.
Story image
Digital Marketing
Getty Images delves into the world of NFTs with Candy Digital
Getty Images and Candy Digital, the next-generation digital collectible company, have announced a new multi-year partnership agreement.
Story image
Sustainability
Aligned Data Centers increases sustainability-linked loan
Aligned Data Centers has increased its sustainability-linked loan from $375 million to $1.75 billion to speed up the next phase of its strategic growth.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Digital transformation increasing business complexities
A new survey suggests businesses must re-examine their digital transformation approach to better help employees adapt to change.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Surveillance
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Microsoft
Elevation of Privilege the top 2021 Microsoft vulnerability
BeyondTrust has released its 2022 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report, finding that Elevation of Privilege is the top vulnerability category for the second consecutive year.
Story image
Red Sift
Entrust expands strategic partnership with Red Sift
Entrust has expanded its strategic partnership with Red Sift to make it easier for businesses to adopt Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standards for email identification and security.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
SaaS
The paradox of change, and how to get around it
The business decision to technologically transform should not come from an IT department but from the business itself.
Story image
Alteryx
Alteryx releases updates, empowers data insights for enterprise
Alteryx has released new advancements designed to aid enterprises with cloud analytics, democratise insights and ensure data governance.
Story image
DaaS
NetApp launches Spot PC, a new Desktop-as-a-Service solution
This is a new managed cloud DaaS solution with security, automation, observability and optimisation capabilities, designed for the needs of today.
Story image
Sustainability
SoftIron named global leader for efficient DC infrastructure solutions
SoftIron has been named a global leader for supplying energy-efficient data infrastructure solutions for core-to-edge data centers after an assessment by Earth Capital Ltd.
Story image
SpaceX
Australian space tech startup secures SpaceX support
Space Machines Company has secured the support of SpaceX as a launch partner in carrying SMC's Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle to space next year.
Story image
Multi Cloud
Red Hat updates dev tools, empowers use of hybrid and multicloud
Red Hat has unveiled updates across its portfolio of developer tools, designed to help organisations build and deliver applications faster.
Story image
Training
Trojan cyber attacks hitting SMBs harder than ever - Kaspersky
In 2022 the number of Trojan-PSW detections increased by almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2021 to reach 4,003,323.
Story image
Customer experience
Phone, internet complaints increase for first time in five quarters
Phone and internet complaints have increased for the first time in five quarters, according to a new telco report from the Ombudsman.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
Manhattan Associates
Shortening the click-to-customer cycle through smart technologies
Speed of delivery without accuracy is a dealbreaker for consumers. How can retailers operating in an omnichannel environment overcome the challenge of click-to-customer cycle times.
Story image
Rackspace
Skills shortages hold orgs back from capitalising on cloud 2.0
Organisations are becoming more comfortable with sophisticated 'cloud 2.0' technologies, even as they confront difficulties in hiring and retaining IT talent.
Story image
VPN
The most common online scams in Australia
No one is safe from online scammers, and many of these scammers have capitalised on the pandemic, using this confusing time to attack more people than ever.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Accenture - a collective security approach a driving factor for cyber resilience
With the approaching Davos World Economic Forum upon us, it is even more imperative to discuss the impact of cybersecurity on business operations leading into the future.