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Coalition predicts 25% surge in cyber vulnerabilities for 2024
Mon, 26th Feb 2024

Coalition, the pioneering Active Insurance provider focused on pre-empting digital risk, has released its Cyber Threat Index 2024, offering insights into cybersecurity trends from the past year and anticipated threats businesses should brace for in the coming year. Central to the report, the company forecasts a significant 25% surge in the number of common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) in 2024, leading to an estimated 34,888 vulnerabilities or approximately 2,900 each month.

With the rapid rate at which these new vulnerabilities surface, coupled with the proliferation of different warning systems, the cyber risk landscape is daunting to negotiate. According to Tiago Henriques, Coalitions Head of Research, many organisations are grappling with 'alert fatigue' and indecision concerning the patching priority to mitigate their overall risk and exposure. He stated, "In the current cybersecurity climate, it's unrealistic to expect organisations to manage all of the vulnerabilities independently; they require expert management of these security concerns and guidance on prioritising remediation. Our goal in sharing these insights, along with our Coalition Exploit Scoring System, is to help make the complex cyber ecosystem more manageable for companies of all sizes."

The report also highlights some concerning findings, such as an alarming 59% increase in unique IP addresses scanning for Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). This is concerning because, as per Coalition’s data, businesses that have RDP exposed to the internet are most prone to experiencing a ransomware event. The scans also identified around 10,000 businesses running the end-of-life (EOL) database Microsoft SQL Server 2000, and over 100,000 running EOL Microsoft SQL servers. In another instance, honeypot (sensor) activity surged by 1,000% 16 days before Progress Software's critical MOVEit security advisory.

The significance of Coalition's honeypots, which monitor for such spikes, is in their ability to identify major CVEs before they hit the news – enabling companies to take pre-emptive action. Tragic large-scale cyber events like MOVEit or Citrix Bleed could have been contained if businesses had dedicated managed detection and response (MDR) solutions in operation.

"Coalition has seen first-hand how MDR can reduce attack response time by 50% or more – a huge impact in the fight to protect businesses from cyber threats," added John Roberts, General Manager, Security, at Coalition. He stressed that casually installing technology solutions and forgetting about them is no longer sufficient, and experts must play an active role in vulnerability and risk management. He said, "With MDR, after technology has detected suspicious activity, human experts can step in in various ways, such as isolating impacted machines or revoking privileges. Coalition has stopped cyber criminals mid-attack by doing precisely this."

Coalition aims to shield the defenceless: Enhancing security defences and outcomes for both policyholders and non-policyholders to bolster resilience and decrease global cyber risk. Applying its unique insights as an insurance provider, Coalition enlightens the market about the security risks that provoke losses and shares this knowledge broadly to raise awareness about these risks and suggest ways organisations, whether policyholders or not, can correct them.