Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Malware, spam, and phishing – most common threats to business

Attacks that employ a variety of malicious programmes, phishing attacks, and spam remain the cyber threats most frequently encountered by companies. At the same time, the volume of malicious attacks and spam has increased substantially in 2013, compared to 2012. These are the findings published in the Global Corporate IT Security Risks 2013 survey, conducted by B2B International.

Roughly 64% of the survey’s respondents in South Africa reported that their companies were targeted in attacks involving viruses, worms, spyware, and other types of malicious programmes (the global figure is 66% in 2013 and 58% in 2012).

The volume of spam attacks is noted by 68% of companies locally (globally 61% noted that against 55% last year). Phishing attacks were launched against 41% of companies locally. In fact, phishing remains in the top three most prevalent threats in external attacks against corporations today.

Companies in South America were the most frequent targets of malicious attacks: 72% of respondents from that region ranked viruses and spyware the number one external threats. Russian companies were also frequent targets, with 71% of Russian companies reporting attacks. North America was the third most-attacked region, with 70% of companies reporting attacks. Japanese companies suffered the least, with only 47% of survey participants reporting any malware attacks.

Meanwhile, spam is most frequently encountered by North American and Russian companies (69% and 67%, respectively). The companies dealing with the least amount of spam are located in the Middle East (55%) and in Japan (42%).

Companies from North America are subjected to phishing attacks more often than in other regions (51%), followed by the Asian Pacific (46%). The companies with the lowest phishing rate are located in Russia, Japan, and South American countries (an average of 26%).

Malicious attacks are actually the number one reason behind serious leakages of confidential data — 19% of companies locally reported that they have suffered data leakages after these types of attacks. Globally based on the report, most often, these incidents take place among small and mid-sized companies (23%), while large companies are targeted less frequently (17%).

Data leakages are less frequently the result of phishing attacks, as very few companies locally are encountering these types of incidents in 2013. However, globally the percentage of large companies that lost data due to phishing attacks is a bit higher (6%) than the number of SMEs in the same situation (5%).

The number of cyber threats is growing constantly, for example ESET experts discover approximately 200,000 new malware samples every day. This is forcing companies to pay more attention to their security, especially after they experience a cyber-incident. However, according to the survey, locally only 86% of businesses have fully-implemented anti-malware (anti-virus and anti-spyware) protection in place.

The varied range of attacks launched against companies means that companies need a professional security solution capable of effectively counteracting dangerous cyber threats.


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