Just when we thought it was safe to get back in the water, a recently released cybersecurity industry study revealed that new malware variants are being created at record breaking speed. The report found that new malware types were identified every four seconds and more than 4 million new strains were detected in the second half of 2014. Only around 2 million new malware variants were created in the first half of last year, meaning malware creation increased almost 125 percent in the last six months of 2014. A total of nearly 6 million malicious programs were detected, an increase of 77 percent from 2013.
According to the report, Trojans are still one of the most commonly utilized forms of malware, but they are quickly being overtaken by adware. Adware had the highest rate of growth out of all the malware categories included in the study, with an increase of more than 31 percent from 2013. The report also revealed that spyware is increasing in use and backdoors are losing popularity among cybercriminals. Rootkits were found to have had especially explosive growth in the second half of 2014, with 18 times the amount of new variants appearing in the last two quarters of the year as the first two.
Malware created at break-neck speed
Perhaps the most startling discovery made by researchers was that the amount of malware created in just the last six months of 2014 broke records and exceeded the expectations of many industry analysts. The 4.1 million new malicious programs released in the second half of last year were more than twice as many as were distributed in the first half and more than the total number of variants released in 2013 as a whole.
The majority of malware detected in 2014 was directed at Windows platforms. Of the more than 4 million pieces of malicious software released in the second half of 2014, 3.8 million targeted Windows programs. Clearly cybercriminals are not backing down on their use of malware and are instead launching even stronger attacks. With Windows platforms being the most at risk, a large number of businesses are vulnerable to malware and need to implement a defense solution that is equipped to handle the modern threat landscape.
Organizations looking for a strategy to help them protect sensitive information and privileged networks from hackers can rely on endpoint layered security to get the job done. A solution like Faronics’Anti-Virus provides enterprises with defense for multiple endpoints and utilizes multiple security strategies to protect against a wide variety of cyber attacks.