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Government and energy sector most at risk of ransomware

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Hackers looking to deploy ransomware and extort businesses are most likely to target the government, as well as energy and manufacturing sectors, according to a new report from VMware.

The 2020 Cybersecurity Outlook report, based on a poll of more than 600 IT security professionals, says criminals are are adopting increasingly complex evasion techniques as they look to circumvent legacy security solutions.

Out of 2,000 attacks observed as part of the study, evasive behaviour was seen in 90 percent.

Another emerging trend is the use of so-called wiper attacks, which overwrite data and clear hard drives. This type of attack is “trending upwards”, as criminals and state-sponsored actors become increasingly aware of the “utility of purely destructive attacks.”

On the other hand, the report also claims the goals of IT and security teams are well aligned. More than half (55 percent) of respondents said collaboration between IT and security should be the business’ top priority this year, and the majority agree security is a responsibility shared by IT and security teams.

"Defenders must stop thinking about how to achieve results on their own. Defenders must continue to build bridges with IT teams. The time for cooperation is now," said Rick McElroy, co-author of the report.

"We need IT teams to look toward security solutions that are built in and not bolted on. It’s time for security to become part of our organisational DNA. It’s time security becomes intrinsic to how we build, deploy and maintain technology."