Symantec Internet Security Threat Report Reveals Huge Surge in Attacks on Startups

Symantec’s latest annual Internet Security Threat Report reveals a 42 percent surge during 2012 in targeted attacks.

Symantec says that “cyberespionage attacks” are designed to steal intellectual property and targeted more and more at startups.

“This year’s ISTR shows that cybercriminals aren’t slowing down, and they continue to devise new ways to steal information from organizations of all sizes,” says Stephen Trilling, chief technology officer, Symantec. “The sophistication of attacks coupled with today’s IT complexities, such as virtualization, mobility and cloud, require organizations to remain proactive and use ‘defense in depth’ security measures to stay ahead of attacks.”

According to the report, small businesses are now the target of 31 percent of all attacks, a threefold increase from 2011. Most startups assume they’re not targets, but cybercriminals are enticed by these organizations’ bank account information, customer data and intellectual property. Attackers also know small businesses often lack adequate security practices and infrastructure. Web-based attacks increased by 30 percent in 2012.

Last year, mobile malware increased by 58 percent, and 32 percent of all mobile threats attempted to steal information, such as email addresses and phone numbers. Android had more threats than any other mobile operating system.