RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Digital transformation, phishing campaigns, discontinuity of information security operations and financial constraints add to a disrupted world.
  • CISOs who understand the challenges can help their organizations emerge stronger.
  • Our analysis found five factors that are influencing the cyberthreat landscape.
  • We recommend steps organizations can take for a more flexible and secure future.


In the past year, security strategies and practices have been tested like no other. Rapidly accelerated digital transformations, opportunistic phishing campaigns, discontinuity of information security operations and financial constraints are creating the perfect storm in a COVID-19-disrupted world. CISOs who understand these challenges and can pivot their security approach can help their organizations to emerge stronger.

Accenture cyber threat intelligence and incident response teams have been creating relevant, timely and actionable threat intelligence for more than 20 years. We unravel the changes in cybersecurity threats in the last 12 months and discover five factors that are influencing the cyberthreat landscape.



What’s inside the 2020 Cyber Threatscape report?

Since our report in 2019, our cyber threat intelligence and incident response teams have gained first-hand visibility of the tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) employed by some of the most sophisticated cyber adversaries.

In this latest report, Accenture Cyber Threat Intelligence, backed by teams from recent acquisitions Context and Deja vu Security, aims to help clients, partners and community members by offering information so that they can stay ahead of threats relevant to their businesses, industries and geographies.

There has been a 60% increase in the average ransom payment (US$178,254) from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2020.

Five frontline trends

Our 2020 Cyber Threatscape report reveals five factors that are influencing the cyberthreat landscape.

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COVID-19 accelerates the need for adaptive security

COVID-19 led to social engineering opportunities and pressured organizations struggling with business continuity, travel restrictions and remote working.

New, sophisticated TTPS target business continuity

Sophisticated threat actors have been observed targeting platforms such as Microsoft Exchange and OWA, to conduct malicious activities.

Masked or noisy cyberattacks complicate detection

Cyberthreat actors routinely chain together off-the-shelf tools with living-off-the-land techniques, complicating detection and attribution.

Ransomware feeds profitable, scalable business

Alongside finding new ways to infect businesses with ransomware, threat actors are finding new ways to influence victims to pay.

Connectedness has consequences

Powerful technologies and the Internet enable greater connectivity and expose critical systems that attackers are findings new ways to exploit.

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A flexible future

The unprecedented health and humanitarian crisis that has gripped our world during 2020 has opened the door to innovative cybercrime. Organizations can take steps to a more flexible and secure future if they:

  • Think "anytime, anywhere": Secure all users, devices, and network traffic consistently with the same degree of effectiveness.
  • Be transparent: Give users access to what they need when they need it.
  • Inspire calm and confidence: Make security leaders the catalyst for change, using empathy and compassion to deliver a more agile response.
  • Where possible, simplify: Consider managed services and automate where it makes sense.
  • Build for resilience: Make business continuity and crisis management plans fit for purpose, backed by the right resources and investments.

By putting such measures in place, organizations have an opportunity to outmaneuver uncertainty, emerge stronger from crises, and gain greater cyber resilience.

About the Authors

Joshua Ray

Managing Director – Accenture Security


Howard Marshall

Managing Director – Accenture Security


Valentino De Sousa

Security Senior Principal


Jayson Jean

Cyber Threat Intelligence Business Development Lead​


Simon Warren

​Business Development, Accenture Security​


Scott Bachand

Global Intelligence Director & Strategy Lead

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Lessons from leaders to master cybersecurity execution
2020 Cyber Threatscape Report: Executive summary

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