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Cyberattacks of all sizes surged in Q1 2021

security
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Khakimullin Aleksandr)

The first few months of 2021 have seen a major increase in the number and severity of cyberattacks, new figures suggest.

The team at Atlas VPN recently released a new report on the state of cybersecurity, which found the number of cyberattacks rose by a third (33 percent), as compared with Q1 2020.

Looking at individual months, there was a 14 percent rise in January, a 33 percent rise in February and a 50 percent rise in March. 

Atlas VPN researcher William Sword believes this rise is due to organizations and government institutions being caught off-guard.

“A significant increase in cyberattacks has shown that many companies or government administrations are not prepared to handle cybersecurity threats. With more and more people becoming victims of hackers, responsible institutions should step up their efforts in the cybersecurity field,” he said.

Of all the different ways criminals attack organizations, malware continues to be the most common technique, deployed in almost a third (32 percent) of attacks. Unknown attacks, which revolve around security products not being able to recognize code, were the second most common, accounting for more than a fifth (22 percent) of all attacks.

Account takeover was the third most common form of attack, responsible for 14 percent of incidents in Q1 2021.