Hackers are using a mixture of old and new cyberattacks to target businesses as attackers update and expand the range of techniques available to themselves, according to the security vendor Trend Micro.
A study of the first quarter of this year showed zero-day attacks, malicious advertising and macro malware being used by attackers as part of a broad set of tactics.
Data from the firm also showed that old attack styles were updated to make them more potent, with ransomware capable of locking up victims’ systems being redeveloped with stronger cryptographic functions despite its decline in use last year.
Raimund Genes, CTO at Trend Micro said: "Even though we are early in the year, it is clear 2015 is shaping up to be noteworthy in terms of volume, ingenuity and sophistication of attacks.
"It is clear businesses and individuals alike need to be proactive in protecting against threats."
Among the oldest bugs the firm found being exploited was Freak, a decade-old weakness in the SSL/TLS security layer that was based partly on US regulations around cryptographic exports.
Trend Micro also found point-of-sales systems such as those hit in the attacks on US retailers Target and Home depot are increasingly being targeted, with healthcare similarly affected.
Newer tactics from hackers this year include the use of exploit kits – software designed to automatically abuse bugs and vulnerabilities.
"The question we have to ask is, ‘are we doing enough to protect ourselves from security threats?’" Genes said.
"While we need to constantly update our systems to protect against new attacks, the first quarter of 2015 clearly showed we need to also watch out for older threats, and how no industry or system should feel exempt."