In fight against malware, businesses need sophisticated strategies

by Charles Leaver

February 11, 2014

access_time 4 min read

Malware poses a bigger threat to devices now than ever before, and enterprises, which often operate through large computer networks holding highly privileged information, are common targets of endpoint attacks. The lack of proper endpoint protection software among businesses makes them particularly vulnerable to attack.

The vast majority of U.S. businesses - 89 percent - use some kind of anti-malware technology, and an even greater percentage (91) have expressed concern about the cyber climate they operate in and its vulnerabilities to data breaches. This concern is not unfounded. In the past few months, several large retailers have fallen victim to malware attacks that resulted in the theft of privileged information. In the largest attack, retail giant Target's internal infrastructure was breached, resulting in the exposure of personal information for 110 million customers, FoxNews reported. Given the sheer scale of the breach, its likely point of origin came as a surprise to many: The computer of a 17-year-old Russian boy, according to malware research service IntelCrawler. The boy reportedly developed the malware as an inexpensive option to infiltrate Point-of-Sales devices. He then put it up for sale on hackers forums for $2,000, enabling anyone with those funds to carry out a retail breach. It was this malware that led to the second biggest credit card breach in the United States.

The security measures used by enterprises don't go far enough to prevent data leakage. One problem is that companies aren't prepared for the number of different devices in the workplace. While 61 percent of U.S. organizations can monitor apps that are on conventional company endpoints such as computers, a mere 39 percent have that same capability for mobile devices. This presents a security risk, especially with the proliferation of bring-your-own-device initiatives in the workplace. When 52 percent of workers in the information sector are using three or more devices for work purposes, it is important for businesses to secure all those devices, mobile included. The need is especially great considering that 10 million new malware bugs infected the U.S. market by the third fiscal quarter of 2013.

U.S. companies believe that implementing comprehensive and long-term solutions is the best way to ensure endpoint security and control. These measures should include keeping a record of endpoint activity, according to 87 percent of enterprises, and 81 percent suggest cross-platform management is a necessary protective measure against malware, especially in the age of BYOD.


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