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Data Breaches By Malware Is On the Rise

Malware—malicious software— is any code written with the intent of causing harm, and includes a number of malicious programs like viruses, Trojan horses, and spyware. Cybercriminals use malware to steal or delete your data, or to take over control of your system in order to spy on your activity, including recording your passwords and other sensitive information.

The average cost of these types of malware attacks on an organization is $2.6 million per year, according to Accenture. And with more employees working from home than ever before, the risk of data breaches by malicious software, attachments, and phishing scams has increased exponentially. Between 2018 and 2019, malware attacks on businesses rose 13% for a total of 9.6 million detected attacks (Malwarebytes).


MalwarebytesState of Malware 2020
                                          (Malwarebytes State of Malware 2020)

Most organizations are infected with malware when a user unknowingly downloads a file—usually disguised as an email link or attachment—that allows the malicious code access to your network. While there are a number of ways to fight an attack once it’s detected, in the case of malware, prevention is better—and likely much less costly—than a cure. Data breaches caused by malware attacks are expensive in terms of dollars and loss of brand trust.

  • The most expensive data breach belongs to Epsilon, whose 2011 attack cost the company $4 billion.
  • Target paid an $18.5 million settlement for a 2013 cyberattack that affected more than 41 million customers.
  • Equifax suffered website-related data breach that compromised 148 million consumers.
  • An undetected data breach in the Marriott Hotel system exposed the personal information of nearly 500 million customers over 4 years.

With numbers like these, it’s understandable why organizations are scrambling to hire workers to keep their data safe. 82% of employers say they don’t have the cybersecurity skills they need for their business (ISSA). This gap in the market has created an opportunity for hackers, but also for job seekers. There were over 100,000 job postings for Information Security Analysts in 2019 (EMSI), and the job category is expected to grow 31% by 2029 (EMSI).

The COVID-19 crisis has caused a rapid transition of business operations to the cloud that is putting enormous pressure on cybersecurity professionals. It is essential to stay up-to-date on the latest threats and prevention measures to better protect your organization’s data.

Cybersecurity certificate programs, like ones offered at New Horizons, offer an easy way to continue your education, no matter your skill level. Experienced professionals can stay current on the latest malware trends, and those interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity can learn the basics to get started in their new field.

Learn more today.

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