This year’s IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index presents an uncomfortable truth: as businesses, institutions and governments continue to adapt to a fast-changing global market—including hybrid and cloud-based work environments—threat actors remain adept at exploiting such shifts.

Key Insights

Manufacturing becomes the world’s most attacked industry. About 1 in 4 attacks on this sector are from ransomware.
Malware uses sophisticated new tricks to infiltrate. 3,000% Surge in IoT malware activity between Q3 2019 and Q4 2020.
Vulnerabilities rise sharply as the Internet of Things expands. 2,204% Increase in adversarial reconnaissance activity targeting a popular supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) messaging protocol between January and September 2021, as observed by X-Force.
Multi-factor authentication shows promising signs of success.
Phishing was 2021’s top infection vector, and the brands that were most imitated in phishing kits are among the largest and most trusted companies: Microsoft, Apple and Google.