When it comes to IT security most small-to-medium (SMB) businesses have a herd mentality. They know there are predators. They just assume that given the size of the SMB they figure that the odds are good some company other than them will fall victim. What that thinking fails to account for is how efficient the predators are becoming at hunting.
A new report from Malwarebytes, a provider of malware removal tools, published this week makes plain the size and scope of the problem. The report finds that amount of malware being discovered with SMB organizations in the U.S. with fewer than 1,000 employees from the first quarter of 2016 to the same period in 2017 has increased a startling 165 percent. Even accounting for the fact that organizations might be getting better at discovering malware, that increase in volume suggests that either there are a lot more predators or they have become much more efficient in terms of launching attacks. The truth is a little bit of both. Cyber criminals have developed an elaborate marketplace through which they sell and share exploits. That makes it simpler for cyber criminals with limited skills to employ malware. At the same time, cybercriminals are taking advantage of bots and adware to spread malware more broadly than ever.