Malware outpaces ransomware for the first time in over a year

02 Sep 2022

Malware outpaces ransomware for the first time in over a year

I was interested to read in recent news, Cisco Talos, one of the biggest private threat intelligence teams in the world, published Q2/22 quarterly findings detailing insights surrounding global cyberthreats and incident response trends. In Q2/22, it was reported that commodity malware comprised 20% of known threats, outpacing ransomware attacks for the first time in over a year.

A malware attack is a type of cyberattack whereby ‘malware’ enters a network in an unauthorised manner. A malware attack is otherwise known as a virus, and can encompass many types of attacks, including spyware. Such attacks are usually carried out by criminal organisations or outside actors.  Like other forms of cyberattacks, they can cause a massive amount damage and impact to the businesses they target.

Malware attacks are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and by consequence, they are one of the biggest obstacles to a company’s cyber defence. According to the report: ‘The State of Security: Malware in 2022’, 80% of attacks are executed for financial gain, whilst 52% are carried out due to the perpetrator wanting to disrupt a targeted business. 13% occur due to political motivations and 11% are the result of a hacker seeking revenge on a company that provided a negative experience. Cybersecurity Dive also reported findings from VirusTotal detailing how outside actors are using malware to launch malicious attacks by abusing legitimate domains to install Malware. The tactic involves embedding malware into installation packages within legitimate software installations.

The event of such attacks are costly. In 2021, the overall global cost of malware attacks reached over $20 billion. Yet as well as the increased business spend that occurs due to such attacks, firms are also impacted in other ways: system downtime, productivity loss, reputation damage, potential job losses and overall reduced confidence in cybersecurity health and posture.

Despite the increase of attacks, firms can invest in their cybersecurity and increase their malware defences to protect themselves, their business and data. It is critical to employ the right strategy and solutions. RFA works alongside clients to offer boundary and malware defence solutions that can help detect, prevent and correct the flow of information being transferred across networks at zero trust. These tools work alongside a firms internal procedures and policies to identify and mitigate potential threats efficiently and at speed.

It is clear that malware attacks are continuously evolving in their sophistication and they are gaining pace in their frequency of execution. In this climate, firms must invest in their malware defence strategy to prevent and minimise the damage of such attacks. Vigilance is key in the fight against cyber crime, and this news just reminds us that the threat of attack can come in many forms and we must protect clearly against them all.

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