If the past is any predictor of the future, we can expect a dramatic surge of malware infections during the next several weeks.
Historically, the number of malware infections has increased significantly during November and December. This annual spike is primarily driven by cyber criminals who prey on holiday shoppers. Online purchases are expected to reach over $100 billion this season—a 7-10% increase over last year. And, every mouse click gives cyber intruders the opportunity to install harmful programs on their victim's computer.
Growth of holiday season malware
While the number of online holiday purchases has grown substantially, the incidence of malware infections during the holidays is growing even faster:
- 2014: Malware infections reported during the holidays grew by over 40% over the previous year
- 2015: The number of malware infections increased by over 80% during the holidays over the previous year
- 2016: So far this year, malware has increased dramatically, and there is every reason to expect the annual holiday surge
Businesses impacted by holiday season malware
The holiday jump in malicious code affects businesses as well as individuals. Corporations can be heavily impacted by infected employee devices, particularly laptops that are compromised at home or when outside the organization's control. When these infected devices are brought into the corporate environment, it places the entire enterprise at increased risk.
Effective malware protection requires a comprehensive solution
Organizations spend a lot of time and money creating protective walls to keep internal systems and data safe from outside attackers. Those efforts are important, but miss the fact that many of their employees are physically carrying infected devices into their network -- right past their security defenses.
To be effective, corporations need to implement a comprehensive malware solution that addresses multiple areas:
- Detect evasive malware as it attempts to enter the network via infected emails, compromised web sites, or phishing campaigns
- Pinpoint malicious activity that penetrates or pre-dates security controls
- Identify newly compromised devices that are connected to the network
Click here to learn more about the Lastline solution for detecting advanced malware.