A new study released by internet security firm Checkpoint found that virus (malware) attacks increased a staggering 9 fold in 2016. At the current rate, virus outbreaks occur at a rate of 971 per hour. In 2015, it was 106.
Researchers discovered an amazing 12 million new variants of malware – each month. They have discovered more viruses in the last two years than in the previous 10 years. Employees are downloading new malware every 4 seconds onto corporate networks the study found.
The biggest target to attackers was healthcare records. These have the highest current value on the black market. They are currently valued at 10 times the value of credit cards or other financial data. The report found that 9% of all healthcare or insurance organizations had experienced a data loss as defined by HIPAA. For healthcare organizations, there was a 60 percent increase in security incidents in 2015. In the last year, the cost of these security incidents rose 282 percent.
The most common method of attack was found to be email. The virus would be allowed onto the network by employees clicking on links in malicious emails. 75 percent of the attacks used this form of entry to find there way into the corporate networks. Using this method, attackers were able to bypass corporate firewalls a whopping 39 percent of the time. In 85 percent of those cases in the study, the breach wasn’t even discovered until after the organization was already compromised.
The study found that most organizations weren’t keeping up with security updates for the anti-virus software and other software like Windows and electronic medical records.
How can you protect your business from virus attacks?
The first step is keeping all of your software fully updated. This includes Windows and all other critical software such as electronic medical records and accounting packages. These updates fix bugs and holes that have been found in the software. That’s why its so important to download and install them.
Install a virus protection software the scans in real time. This will protect against attacks like malicious email attacks. Most free anti-virus software doesn’t offer this feature. The anti-virus software must also be kept up to date.
Lastly, you can educate your employees about clicking on links in email that they aren’t sure about. If they are in doubt, don’t click it. Better safe than sorry.
If you need any help on this or have questions, contact Iron Comet at 770-506-4383 and we can give you a run down on how you can protect your company, free of charge.