More than half of UK companies have been infected by malware

More than half of UK companies have been infected by malware

Over half (62%) of UK companies have experienced malware infections, according to a survey carried out by Kaspersky Lab[1].

There are two steps companies can take to achieve optimum IT protection. The first: install basic protection on all systems. The second step involves refining the security concept and optimally aligning the protective components to take into account the company’s needs.

“If you have never been infected by malware, it is easy to tell yourself that 'It won't happen to me', or at least to imagine that most of what we hear about malware is just hype,” said David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab. “It would be naïve to suggest that there is no hype – there have always been those who have exaggerated the risks or over-inflated the potential cost of an attack. But for all this, the threat from malware is real and it can have a serious impact on business.”

Please see below for further advice and comments from David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab:

Most malicious programs are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, quietly gathering data in the background. This makes them much more insidious than the cyber-vandalism of the 1990s. The financial impact of malware today is much harder to determine, because a victim may not even know that they have been infected, or what data may have been stolen by the cybercriminals.

The majority of attacks are speculative – designed to trap anyone unlucky enough to fall victim to them. But it is clear that the number of targeted attacks is increasing. And often the starting-point for such attacks is exactly the same as for the general attacks that we have all become used to – tricking individuals into disclosing information. But in the case of a targeted attack, the aim is to use the data to get a foothold in the victim company and steal corporate data, or damage the company's reputation.

So it is important to invest in security. This means developing a security policy tailored to the business. IT managers should identify potential areas of vulnerability, the impact of any attack on the business and the tools needed to secure the business. It is also important that security across the company can be measured – remember that security is like housework, it's only meaningful if you repeat the process at regular intervals.

[1] Kaspersky Lab carried out an online survey of 1300 senior IT professionals in 11 countries.

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14 Feb 2012