High Severity Cyber-attacks Decreased in 2023

However, incidents with medium or low severity increased. Experts warn about the commoditisation of attacks and the ultimate damage caused.

Severe cyber-incidents lost prevalence during 2023. According to Kaspersky’s data, the percentage of malware attacks with major consequences decreased compared to previous years, remaining at approximately 12 % of the total number of reported critical incidents.

The security company has just published a report on MDR (managed detection and response), in which it notes the lower proportion of high-severity incidents in recent times.

This is related to the “commoditisation of attacks”. Tools originally developed for targeted campaigns have become popular and are reused in automated attacks.

But the damage is still present. “In 2023, Kaspersky detected fewer high-severity incidents, but saw a simultaneous increase in the number of medium- and low-severity incidents,” says Sergey Soldatov, head of Kaspersky’s Security Operations Centre.

“This redistribution of incidents is associated with the detection of malware with no visible traces of active human involvement in the attacks, which can be explained by the ‘commoditisation of tools’. However, it is important to understand that low numbers of high-severity incidents do not necessarily indicate low damage,” he explains.

“Targeted attacks are now more carefully planned and become more dangerous,” he insists. “Therefore, we recommend the use of automated and effective cyber security solutions, managed with the help of experienced SOC analysts”.

The frequency of high-severity cyber incidents with direct human involvement exceeded two per day in 2023. The government sector accounted for 22.9% of the most severe problems. IT (15.4 %), financial (14.9 %) and industrial (11.8 %) companies were also impacted.