The Sonicwall 2022 Cyber Threat Report

May 6, 2022 | Cybersecurity | 0 comments

Today’s business world is more reliant than ever on technology and, when you live in a digital economy, it is no surprise that the risk of cyber-attacks increases year on year.

We regularly hear reports of big corporations getting hit with these attacks but, in reality, the stories we hear about in the media are only a fraction of the true number of cybercrime victims. In fact, it is more often the lesser-known, smaller companies and SMEs that find themselves at the mercy of cybercriminals.

And, while cyber threats continue to be a considerable menace to Irish SMEs, perhaps an even greater issue are those companies who don’t take cyber security seriously.

At Calnet IT Solutions, we believe in being proactive because we know well that prevention is far better than the cure. In order to be proactive, we must remain consistently informed and so we aim to stay at the forefront of cyber security trends as they arise.

Understanding the threats provides a tactical advantage in combating cybercrime and so today we are breaking down the Sonicwall 2022 Cyber Threat Report.


Key findings – The Sonicwall 2022 Cyber Threat Report

Throughout 2021, SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers carefully recorded and curated data and details of cyberattacks across the globe, compiling their findings into the Sonicwall 2022 Cyber Threat Report.

Here are the six key findings of that report:



While the year-on-year data shows an overall global decrease in malware, down 4% in 2021, a closer look reveals that signs may not be as encouraging as they may appear.

In fact, there was a marked rise in malware in the second half of 2021 indicating that there may be a comeback afoot. With a 2.4 billion volume recorded in the last six months of 2020, this was followed by 2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, and a further increase of 2.9 billion documented in the remaining months.

So, while the yearly data may appear positive it seems that, in reality, this tale of two halves is indicating that malware may actually be on the rise.


Key Takeaways From The Sonicwall 2022 Cyber Threat Report - Calnet IT (2)



The news here is not great, with 2021 proving to be one of the worst years for ransomware ever recorded. Data showed an astounding 623.3 million attacks were carried out in 2021, leading to a massive 105% increase globally.

The range of tactics used by ransomware gangs also grew throughout the year, becoming even more aggressive in their techniques making it all the more important to stay vigilant and on top of your cybersecurity and communications infrastructure.


Never-Before-Seen Malware

Another worrisome revelation was the news that a total of 442,151 never-before-seen malware variants were detected in 2021. This number represents a 65% increase from 2020 figures.

Identifying these new variants is crucial so that preventative measures can be put in place as quickly as possible.

Sonicwall’s Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMI) technology identifies threats through deep memory inspection — all in real-time – allowing us to mitigate against such risks.


IoT Malware

SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers observed increases in IoT malware throughout 2021, resulting in an overall jump of 6% from the previous year.

While any increase in malware attacks is not good, it’s not all bad news. Looking back at the 2020s 66% increase and 2019’s recorded 218% increase, the overall rise is less than both of those years, illustrating an overall slowdown year-on-year.



Cryptojacking, which is the unauthorized use of people’s devices by cybercriminals to mine for cryptocurrency, rose 19% globally to 97.1m million attacks in 2021.

The largest increase was recorded in Europe, with a 60% overall increase year-on-year published.

Data from previous years demonstrated how cryptojacking commonly spread through malware, phishing attempts or malvertising. In 2021, however, researchers also noted cryptojacking spreading via pirated/ cracked software, public project hosting websites and vulnerable web servers.


Encrypted Threats

Encrypted threats, which are cyber threats that use encryption to go undetected, rose significantly in 2021. 10.1 million attacks were recorded, representing an increase of 167%. Shockingly, the total number of attacks is almost as many as the years 2018, 2019 and 2020 combined.

North America, Europe and Asia all witnessed a dramatic rise in attack volumes, however, the data showed increases across the board with not one single region showing a decrease throughout 2021.


Key Takeaways From The Sonicwall 2022 Cyber Threat Report - Calnet IT (3)


What the Sonicwall 2022 Cyber Threat Report provides is a snapshot view of the threat landscape, but it is what we now do with this threat intelligence that counts.

Business owners and SMEs need to take proactive and preventative measures to ensure that they do not become another statistic in this report. Attacks are inevitable, so investing in cybersecurity is essential. Protect your business, your customers and yourself from these existential threats.

At Calnet IT Solutions, we have been managing and securing network infrastructure for companies across Ireland since 2003. As a certified Microsoft Gold Partner, we have the experience and the expertise to support your business with all of your cybersecurity needs.

Contact us today to find out how our proactive, affordable and reliable services can help safeguard your business against a host of cyber-maladies in 2022 and beyond.

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