Trend Micro, a security software company, carried out a 2018 mid-year security roundup to review the different types of existing and emerging cybersecurity threats.

The report touched on the two security flaws detected in the microprocessors used in most computers worldwide, the ransomware scare and the very hard-to-detect phenomenon of cryptojacking.

According to Trend Micro, the plethora of cybersecurity threats seriously stretched already limited security resources, and presented a serious challenge to IT professionals.

Surge in Detected Cryptocurrency Mining Malware

The roundup report for the first half of 2018 revealed that the number of detected cases of covert cryptocurrency mining shot up to more than twice the numbers recorded in the second half of 2017 – a rise of 141%.

The number of different types of malware used to infect computers of unsuspecting users was also on the rise: A total of 47 new cryptocurrency mining malware families were recognized.

The most common methods employed by cybercriminals engaged in cryptojacking involve advertisement: ‘Malvertising’ – the use of malware in ad content on Google and the insertion of web miner scripts in AOL ad platforms, are some of the primary means through which devices worldwide have been infected.

Worryingly for internet users everywhere, the rise in the cryptojacking phenomenon poses serious threats to business due to the increased electricity consumption and the slowdown in the performance of infected devices.

Rise in Ransomware Cases

According to the report, the first half of 2018 saw just slight growth (3%) in the pervasiveness of ransomware. The report also revealed that there was a 26% decrease in the number of ransomware families.

The drop in the widespread prevalence of ransomware was attributed to the fact that organizations are now largely aware of it, paying closer attention and taking steps to reduce the likelihood of being attacked.

In spite of the levelling off of of ransomware activity, Trend Micro recommends that enterprises continue to the pay attention to ransomware attacks – emphasizing that the threats are still very real.