Malware Is Surging: How Can Employers Avoid Being Swamped?

malwareExperts recently released a report of malware attacks on U.S. organizations of varying sizes. They found that 46 percent of respondents experienced an attack that had significant repercussions on their business operations. These attacks included ransomware, distributed denial of service (DDoS), and advanced persistent threats (APT) like keyloggers or phishing.

The report indicates organizations spend vast amounts of money on data security, with 88 percent spending over $100,000 per year and 39 percent spending more than $500,000. However, this seems to have produced limited success in preventing attacks. Danielle Correa “46% of US organizations have been significantly affected by malware,” http://www.scmagazineuk.com (Jun. 6, 2016).

Commentary
Research indicates an exponential jump in total malware over the last five years, going from 100 million incidents in 2012 to almost 500 million in 2015. New types of malware have followed the same trajectory, with 390,000 new malware programs launched every day.

The term “malware” is the name given to any malicious software that is installed on a computer without the user’s consent. Some forms of malware, like worms or spam, cause little damage to your data, but are still irritating and disruptive. Other types of malware can be extremely damaging because they are designed to steal data, track Internet browsing habits, cause damage to files, or lock up your computer.

Clicking on an infected link embedded in a fraudulent email or website remains the most common way to become infected with malware, and social engineering techniques play a key role. Rather than hacking into a system’s hardware to obtain data, the cybercriminal uses social engineering to exploit the user’s natural tendency to trust. They use readily available information about the user (hometown, high school, place of work), or imitate well-known organizations (FBI, IRS, Microsoft) to increase the user’s level of trust. Once trust is established, the user will often give out sensitive information.

Everyone, from the CEO to the newest employee, in the workplace must be aware of these risks and be vigilant using mobile devices and computers. Ask DDM today about protection from this risk

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