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Zscaler Report Finds 260% Rise in Attacks via Encrypted Channels; Deepen Desai Quoted

Deepen Desai CISO and VP Zscaler
Deepen Desai, CISO and VP, Zscaler

A new report from Zscaler has found a 260 percent increase in encryption-based threats during the first nine months of 2020. 

Zscaler’s threat research team analyzed 6.6B encrypted threats delivered through Secure Sockets Layer channels between January and September and found that health care was the most targeted industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by finance and insurance, manufacturing, government and services sectors, the company said Tuesday. 

The 2020 State of Encrypted Attacks report published by the company’s ThreatLabZ team showed that 30 percent of SSL-based attacks were delivered through trusted cloud service providers. Researchers also recorded more than 193M phishing attempts over SSL during the first nine months of the year. 

“Cybercriminals are shamelessly attacking critical industries like healthcare, government and finance during the pandemic, and this research shows how risky encrypted traffic can be if not inspected,” said Deepen Desai, chief information security officer and vice president of security research at Zscaler. 

“The report shows a 500 percent increase in ransomware attacks over SSL, and this is just one example to why SSL inspection is so important to an organization’s defense,” added Desai.

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Written by Jane Edwards

is a staff writer at Executive Mosaic, where she writes for ExecutiveBiz about IT modernization, cybersecurity, space procurement and industry leaders’ perspectives on government technology trends.

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