Kaspersky says its malware detection systems found 380,000 malicious files per day in 2021, indicating a 5.7% increase over the previous year.
The tech security company says the growth in malicious software used by attackers to gain unauthorised access to computer systems correlates with the continuous rise in the number of devices used worldwide, among other factors
The 2021 upsurge is one of the trends found by the Kaspersky Security Bulletin: Statistics of the Year Report, the company says.
Traditionally, most threats (91%) occurred via WindowsPE files – a file format specific to Windows operating systems. However, in 2021 cybercriminals started spreading threats associated with the Linux operating system more actively than ever before. As a result, Kaspersky says, the number of detected Linux malware and unwanted software grew by 57%.
More than half (54%) of the threats detected by Kaspersky’s systems comprised unspecified Trojans. While many types of threats reflected a decrease in volume in 2021 compared to 2020, Trojan Droppers grew by 2.24% compared to 2020.
This type of malware is particularly dangerous since these programs are designed to deliver other, more sophisticated malware to a victim’s device. There was also a noticeable increase in the number of worms detected (117.5%), with their share reaching 9% – these programs can self-replicate and propagate independently once they breach the system. Lastly, viruses grew by 27%, increasing their share to 10%.
“Throughout the past year, we discovered 20,000 more malicious files per day compared to the previous year. This was not unexpected – online activity is still at its height due to remote working being adopted worldwide. Furthermore, the major shift to online operations also means more devices are being used worldwide. That leads to a wider attack surface and, subsequently, wider exposure to threats. Therefore, improving digital literacy and keeping their security solutions up to date are two extremely important tasks for users today,’ Denis Staforkin, a security expert at Kaspersky says.
Kaspersky: How Users Can Avoid Malware
To stay protected, Kaspersky also recommends users the following:
- Do not download and install applications from untrusted sources.
- Do not click on any links from unknown sources or suspicious online advertisements.
- Create strong and unique passwords, including a mix of lower-case and upper-case letters, numbers, and punctuation, as well as activating two-factor authentication.
- Always install updates. Some of them may contain critical security issue fixes.
- Ignore messages asking to disable security systems for office or cybersecurity software.
- Use a robust security solution appropriate to your system type and devices.
According to the tech security firm, its Kaspersky Internet Security or Kaspersky Security Cloud technology “will tell you which sites shouldn’t be open and protect you from malware.”
How Organisations Can Avoid Malware
To stay safe, Kaspersky recommends organisations to:
- Always keep software updated on all the devices you use to prevent attackers from infiltrating your network by exploiting vulnerabilities.
- Establish the practice of using strong passwords to access corporate services. Use multi-factor authentication for access to remote services.
- Choose a proven endpoint security solution such as Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business that is equipped with behaviour-based detection and anomaly control capabilities for effective protection against known and unknown threats.
- Use a dedicated set for effective endpoint protection, threat detection and response products to timely detect and remediate even new and evasive threats. Kaspersky Optimum Framework includes the essential set of endpoint protection empowered with EDR and MDR.
The Statistics of the Year Report is part of Kaspersky Security Bulletin (KSB) – an annual series of predictions and analytical reports on key shifts within the cybersecurity world.
Kaspersky says its deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe where it claims over 400 million users and 240,000 corporate clients use its technologies to “protect what matters most to them.”