India now ranks second only to the US in most security threats on Cloud, followed by Australia, Canada, and Brazil, and malware was the technique used most often in reported incidents, a new report showed on Monday.

With the shift to a more flexible pandemic workforce, cybercriminals have introduced new and updated threats and tactics in campaigns targeting prominent sectors, such as government, financial services, and entertainment.

The government was the most targeted sector in Q2 of 2021 with a 64 percent increase in publicly reported cyber incidents, according to the ‘Advanced Threat Research Report: October 2021’ by McAfee Enterprise.

Ransomware has evolved far beyond its origins, and cybercriminals have become smarter and quicker to pivot their tactics alongside a whole host of new bad-actor schemes, – Raj Samani, McAfee Enterprise fellow and chief scientist.

“Names such as REvil, Ryuk, Babuk and DarkSide have permeated into public consciousness, linked to disruptions of critical services worldwide,” he added.

The most targeted sectors by ransomware in Q2 of 2021 were the government, followed by telecom, energy, and media, and communications.

Spam showed the highest increase of reported incidents — 250 percent — from Q1 to Q2 2021, followed by Malicious Script with 125 percent and Malware with 47 percent.

Financial services were targeted the most among the reported cloud incidents, followed by healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and professional services.

“The US experienced the most reported incidents in the second quarter, and Europe saw the largest increases in reported incidents in Q2 with 52 per cent,” said the report.

The second quarter of 2021 was a vibrant quarter for ransomware, earning its place as a high-profile cyber agenda item for the US administration following the Colonial Pipeline attack.

“In the second quarter of 2021, we continued to see the challenges of shifting cloud security to accommodate a more flexible pandemic workforce and an increased workload, which presented cybercriminals with more potential exploits and targets,” the report mentioned.