Ransomware has compromised the supply chains of more than half of the world’s companies

Trend Micro

Trend Micro, a cybersecurity pioneer, revealed new research today that showed over half of global firms’ supply chains are compromised by ransomware.

Trend Micro commissioned Sapio Research to poll 2,958 IT decision-makers from 26 countries in May and June 2022. According to the study, 79% of global IT leaders believe their partners and customers are making their firm a more appealing ransomware target. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that possibly less secure SMBs account for a “substantial” percentage of the supply chain for more than half (52%) of these firms.

A sophisticated attack on an IT management software vendor a year ago compromised scores of MSPs and thousands of downstream clients. Despite this, only 47% of businesses share information about ransomware attacks with their suppliers. Furthermore, 25% stated that they do not share potentially beneficial threat information with partners.

This could be because organisations don’t have information to share in the first place. Detection rates were worryingly low for ransomware activities including:

  • Ransomware payloads (63%)
  • Legitimate tooling e.g., PSexec, Cobalt Strike (53%)
  • Data exfiltration (49%)
  • Initial access (42%)
  • Lateral movement (31%)

“We discovered that 52% of worldwide firms have had a supply chain organization targeted by ransomware, possibly putting their own systems in danger,” said Sharda Tickoo, Trend Micro‘s Technical Director for India, and SAARC. “However, many organisations are not taking initiatives to increase partner cybersecurity.” The first step in reducing these threats must be improved awareness and control over the growing digital attack surface.”

Attackers can also use the supply chain to acquire power over their targets. Sixty-seven per cent of firms that had experienced a ransomware assault in the previous three years said that their attackers contacted customers and/or partners about the breach to force payment.