TechRepublic reports that industrial facilities were targeted by 32% of all USB-based cybersecurity threats this year, with USB-based malware attacks against the industry rising from 37% in 2021 to 52% in 2022.
Remote access was the primary goal of 51% of USB-based cyber threats this year, which was similar to last year's figures, but the rate of high-impact security threats rose from 79% to 81%, according to a report from Honeywell.
Despite the continued elevated prevalence of USB-based cybersecurity threats against the industrial sector, moderate increases from the previous year indicate potential plateauing, noted researchers.
"USB-borne malware is clearly being leveraged as part of larger cyberattack campaigns against industrial targets. Adaptations have occurred to take advantage of leveraging the ability of USB removable media to circumvent network defenses and bypass the air gaps upon which many of these facilities depend on for protection. Continued diligence is necessary to defend against the growing USB threat, and strong USB security controls are highly recommended," said Honeywell.
Twenty-five percent of operational technology organizations in the U.S., and other parts of the world have evaded data breaches this year, compared with only 6% in 2022, mostly due to the 17% decline in insider breaches from 2022 to 2023, reports SecurityWeek.
Several U.S. defense and government organizations have been targeted by state-backed Chinese hacking group Bronze Silhouette, also known as Volt Typhoon, for military intelligence over a period of at least two years, according to The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.