Cyberattacks have evolved to such a degree that they can now be viewed in the context of generations of attacks. And just as critical, so have the means to prevent cyberattacks in the first place. While attacks today are considered fifth generation, most businesses are a generation or two behind.

Recently CNBC Squawk Box talked with Gil Shwed, CEO of Check Point, to shed some light on what exactly is going in the cyber threat landscape.

Below are highlights from the discussion:

  1. Fifth-generation attacks come from multiple vectors: cloud, mobile, and traditional network and endpoint.
  2. Previous generations of attacks were easier to identify and catch. Current generation cyberattacks, however, are “polymorphic,” meaning they change form constantly and are hard to spot.
  3. Unlike earlier generations, hackers now have access to the same government-grade tools that state-sponsored organizations use.
  4. Cryptocurrency has aided the economic growth of cybercrime. “20 years ago it was very hard to do it because there was no way to charge money; today there is a way,” explains Shwed.
  5. Cybercriminals sell stolen credit card numbers on the black market for “x” number of dollars. As Shwed points out, the hackers know how to create trade out of it.
  6. Today’s attacks are far more massive in scale–think WannaCry, which shut down factories, hospitals, and almost an entire country (Ukraine).
  7. Only three percent of organizations are prepared for fifth-generation attacks. The key lies in consolidation.
  8. Mobile phones are a big area of risk. Less than one percent of organizations are addressing mobile phone security.

Watch the interview segment here.