In fact, according to a recent report by the online security agency Malwarebytes,cybercrime rate is up nearly 500%, in the US alone. The security firm came to the conclusion after surveying more than 500 companies in four countries, which found that Ransomware is fast becoming a universal security threat.
An Increase in Ransomware
In the US, all 50 states have experienced a spike in the number of malware attacks in recent months. The report also revealed another alarming statistic that the number of cyber crime involving businesses in 15 states in the US had actually quadrupled as compared to last year. The UK isn’t doing that well either, with nearly one-fifth of UK companies hit by ransomware, with a demand of $10,000 to unlock their data.
According to Adam Kujawa, Director of Malware Intelligence at Malwarebytes, another growing threat to cyber security is Adware. Considered to be the most productive of the cybercrime business, Adware attacks have become somewhat a norm for small businesses. What makes matters worse is that Adware attacks are extremely difficult to detect. When it comes to the US state that has seen the most Adware attacks, Arizona tops the list, with a whopping 17774% increase in Adware attacks on small businesses in just one year, while other states such as California, Alaska, Maine, and Hawaii follow closely behind.
The Malware Battle
The only way small businesses can avoid the malware threat is by getting to the heart of the problem. This will require businesses to take a more layered approach to their data security, stay up to date with the latest in online security trends and invest in their security. What can Business Owners do today?
- First and foremost solution to any problem is prevention. Educate your employees on being very careful when it comes to clicking on external links and downloading potentially harmful data.
- Beware of clickable ads: Avoid “free” software and flashy clickable ads. These ads should be a red flag. its possible these are adware.
- Install a quality antivirus: Many computers have a free antivirus installed. However most of these programs don’t provide adequate protection from every-growing threats.
- And last but not the least, use a hardware-based firewall.
IT professionals and others argue the benefits of software- versus hardware-based firewalls. But a reliable firewall is indispensable, as it protects computers from a wide variety of activities, malicious network access, viruses, spyware, and other vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, by itself, the software-based firewall included with Windows isn’t sufficient to protect systems from the countless robotic attacks affecting all Internet-connected systems. For this reason, all PCs connected to the Internet should be secured behind a capable hardware-based firewall. If you have questions about the type of firewall is best for your network, talk to an IT provider first.