Last updated at Thu, 05 Jan 2023 21:54:42 GMT

Welcome to 2023, a year that sounds so futuristic it is hard to believe it is real. But real it is, and make no mistake, threat actors are still out there, working hard to get into networks the world over. So, at the start of the new year, I am reminded of two particular phrases: Those who do not learn from their past are doomed to repeat it, and history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

With those cautionary words in mind, let's take a brief look back at a smattering of the research we conducted in 2022. Hopefully, you will find some overlooked lessons from the past to keep your organizations safe here <cue excessive reverb> in the future.

Some of Rapid7’s most important research is focused on the current state of cybersecurity and threat landscape. This research is designed to glean critical insights into threat actor tactics and how the security industry works to combat them. Below are four reports based on this type of research.

Vulnerability Intelligence Report

One of our most pored over reports, the Vulnerability Intelligence Report looks at threats that emerged in the previous year. This year, we identified many worrying (and some downright critical) trends in the vulnerability management space. For example, we found that widespread threats were up 130% from 2020 and roughly half of them were zero-day exploits. Additionally, the time to known exploitation of vulnerabilities shrunk to under a week. It’s a sobering report, without a doubt.

Cloud Misconfigurations Report

Securing cloud instances has become a major part of keeping organizations safe from risk. That's not exactly an earth-shattering statement. We all know how important cloud security is. However, our Cloud Misconfiguration Report found that even some of the world's largest (and resource rich) organizations neglect to put some basic, common sense protections in place. So, clearly, there is still work to be done.

Pain Points: Ransomware Data Disclosure Trends

Ransomware has been on the rise for several years and continues to evolve as quickly as cybersecurity professionals find ways to combat it. One way it has evolved over the last few years is with the rise in double extortion. In this type of attack, threat actors exfiltrate an organization’s data before encrypting it. Then, they threaten to leak or sell that data unless a ransom is paid.

In this first of its kind report, we looked at data disclosures associated with double extortion campaigns and extracted some interesting trends including the industries most affected by these attacks, who is conducting them, and when they occur.

Good Passwords for Bad Bots

Passwords, we've all got them, but that doesn't mean we are great at using them to their full potential. We cross referenced well-known password repositories with our own honeypots for SSH and RDP credentials to determine how well organizations use secure credentialing. The results were grim. This report details the results of our research and offers some tips on how to improve passwords (password managers to the front!).

All Cybersecurity is Local

Global trends are important, but keeping it local can help us understand the intricacies of security in our own neck of the woods. In this report, we took a deep dive into one geographical region to provide critical insights that improve security.

The ASX Attack Surface

We took a look at the ASX200, the stock market index of companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. We found that though there is always room for improvement, by and large, the ASX200 companies are on equal security footing as some of their larger counterparts around the globe. And to further dispel any lingering FUD, they've measurably improved since the last time we looked at this sector in 2021, so go on ya, Aussie infosec pros!

The Future of Cybersecurity

At Rapid7, we don't just look at the current state of the cybersecurity industry, we actively strive to improve it. Often, that means deep research into the future of cybersecurity tools and practices. This year was no exception. We’re quite proud of these reports and the potential they have to make us all a little bit safer.

Optimising Vulnerability Triage in DAST with Deep Learning

This may sound like the title to a formal academic paper (and vaguely British) and that's because it is. Rapid7 was honored to have a research paper on machine learning techniques to improve false positives in DAST solutions accepted by a journal published by the Association for Computing Machinery.

Our researchers created a machine learning technique that can reduce false positives in DAST solutions by 96% allowing security professionals more time to focus on triaging actual threats and remediating them, rather than heading on wild goose chases caused by false positives.

Delivering Enterprise IoT Solutions Securely: The Domino's Pizza Story

Companies large and small struggle with securing their IoT infrastructure from attackers. So, when the opportunity came to observe (and dissect) one company that seems to be doing it right, we jumped at the chance. In this report we partnered with Domino's Pizza to look at their IoT operation and they were gracious enough to allow our expert pentesters and code auditors to tear it apart and see how they do it. It's an excellent read for anyone looking to see some of the best practices in IoT security in use today.

2023 Here We Come

These are just a few of the great research papers we released last year. It has long been our mission to not only provide the best security platform and services available, but to help the entire cybersecurity community close the security achievement gap.

Our research departments take that mission very seriously and you can bet that we will be entering 2023 with a big ol' list of research papers looking at the latest in cybersecurity innovation and best practices. We are grateful that you joined us on our journey last year and hope that you'll be along for the ride again this year.