The cybersecurity industry is often rife with hype around the topic of automation, with both IT security teams and malicious hacking groups steadily incorporating more tools and processes that can rapidly and automatically scan networks or process large datasets at speeds far faster than humans.

However, according to CrowdStrike’s new Global Threat Report, the old-fashioned way of hacking – with hands on keyboards – isn’t going out of style anytime soon. The company’s OverWatch platform has observed a fourfold increase in interactive intrusions over the past two years, with nearly half of that increase driven by an explosion in e-crime like ransomware and business email compromise.

Such “interactive” attacks tend to be more creative and thus successful at bypassing the more automated detection and monitoring processes put in place by many organizations. While instances of both e-crime and state-sponsored intrusions have gone up since 2019, financially motivated hacking alone accounted for around 80% of the intrusions CrowdStrike tracked last year. This spike indicates “these adversary groups, and methods for defending against their TTPs, deserve a great deal of attention in the coming year,” the report states.

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