Growing Malware, Ransomware Risks Highlight Opportunity for Partners


James AndersonAttacks from unknown malware have increased nine-fold, according to a study by Check Point Software.

Check Point’s survey highlighted a trio of studies this week that emphasize the increasing sophistication of cyber attacks and the helplessness businesses feel about securing their data.

Check Point's Gabi ReishRunning in conjunction with a study from the SANS Institute, Check Point’s report concluded that every four seconds, an employee downloads unknown malware that can put a company’s data and money at risk.

“Businesses of all sizes are constantly under attack from known and unknown cyber threats,” said Gabi Reish, vice president of product management for Check Point. “Time spent worrying about and managing security systems is time taken away from developing products and services that grow business. Having the right tools to conduct and optimize business is a key to growth.”

Mobility trends are complicating the security process, as Check Point reports that most of the attacks will occur through endpoints. The study found that 75 percent of the attacks are directed at email.{ad}

Reish said channel partners need to emphasize new tools for their end users. He told us threat prevention and mobile security are two important categories.
Coincidentally, Webroot also posted a malware report this week, but this one offered different conclusions.

The study said the likelihood of users encountering malware-related attacks has decreased 20 percent from 2015; however, the existing threats are said to be more effective than ever, including phishing attacks against employees of large corporations and malicious Android apps.

“As attack timelines accelerate and polymorphism continues to grow and spread across attack vectors, it’s more important than ever for organizations to adopt next-generation security approaches that can adapt and predict malware behaviors as they evolve,” said Tyler Moffitt, senior threat research analyst at Webroot.

Uncle Sam’s Not Helping

Carbonite released a survey of 250 small business owners, who expressed overwhelmingly negative opinions about how the federal government is combatting cyber attacks – ransomware in particular.

Most of them (81 percent) said the federal government should increase its role in …


… ensuring security. A minority (36 percent) said the Fed should make data back procedures mandatory.

But 78 percent of the small-business owners said they don’t expect Washington to help with the problem, irrespective of which presidential candidate is elected.

Carbonite's Norman GuadagnoThat opens up the door for channel partners to help provide security to end users.

Norman Guadagno, chief evangelist at Carbonite, said MSPs, VARs and systems integrators have a duty to protect their customers’ data, beginning with education and awareness.

“Channel partners must also teach customers the best practices around digital hygiene – avoiding clickbait and phishing emails, not opening attachments from unknown senders, etc. Above all, it’s critical all small business clients have the proper backup strategies and antivirus protection in place that will reduce time and costs of dealing with a ransomware attack,” he said. “In fact, more than one-third (36 percent) believes the government should mandate data-backup procedures to avoid unnecessary data loss. Taking the time to implement these changes will make a tremendous impact on dealing ransomware and other cyberattacks.”{ad}

Although more than one-third of the respondents said they anticipate a hack in the coming year, 54 percent said they’d have no idea what to do if such an event occurred.

“While more than 6.5 million small businesses think they’re going to fall victim to ransomware, less than 30 percent actually have the resources to combat an attack,” Guadagno said. “As hackers become more sophisticated in their methods, it’s time channel partners rise to the challenge of helping their small-business clients stay aware and alert so they don’t end up another statistic.”

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