H Cloud Malware

Report perspective: AI to thwart malware delivered via cloud apps

June 23, 2023
Malware delivered to manufacturing users through the cloud more than doubled in just 12 months

Over the past few years, we’ve seen how easily cyber-attacks on the manufacturing industry can affect  our everyday lives, whether it’s dealing with supply chain issues or ransomware attacks resulting in the loss of sensitive data.

Although manufacturing is slower to adopt cloud apps compared to other industries, users are rapidly catching up because of the need to improve productivity and enable hybrid workforces. As a result, Netskope Threat Labs’ 2023 manufacturing report found that attackers are increasingly abusing these cloud apps to deliver malware to users. Netskope found that malware delivered to manufacturing users through the cloud more than doubled in just 12 months—jumping from 32% to 66%.

The manufacturing industry is increasingly adopting practices leveraging automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to boost efficiency and streamline processes. With all the marketing hype around AI today, the natural question anyone might ask these days is: Can’t AI solve the malware problem?

AI can certainly be part of the solution. For example, at Netskope we use a combination of threat intelligence, signatures, heuristics, sandboxing and AI to detect malware. The AI is important for identifying new, targeted malware samples using a combination of features extracted during both static and dynamic analysis. Attackers can very easily generate new, never-before-seen malware samples automatically, making AI-based detection technology a necessity. 

With increasing cloud adoption, attackers will continue to abuse a wide variety of cloud apps (especially popular enterprise apps like OneDrive or Google Drive) to deliver malware to their victims. While AI can help security teams detect malware, it is critical for organizations in manufacturing to quickly review their security posture to ensure that they are adequately protected against these threats, most importantly by ensuring that downloads from all sources (including popular cloud apps) are adequately inspected for malicious content.

About the Author

Ray Canzanese