IBM’s 2022 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index has identified Microsoft, Apple and Google as the top brands hoodwinked by attackers.

The report also identified ransomware as the top attack type in 2021 and said that manufacturing supply chains were most vulnerable to exploitation.

Microsoft, Apple and Google were frequently used by attackers because the platforms are popular and also enjoy the trust of customers.

Therefore, attackers use them as disguises to steal consumers’ information or infect their devices with malware. Other brands on the list include BMO Harris Bank, Chase, Amazon, Dropbox, DHL, CNN, Hotmail, and Facebook.

Despite retaining the top spot, ransomware attacks in 2021 dropped to 21% from 23% in the previous year. 41% of attacks were triggered by phishing. Phishing campaign emerged as the top route to compromising devices in 2021.

In order to better protect themselves against attacks, consumers are advised to carefully check every link sent to them. Companies are also advised to be careful where they store their data.