The chances of a business user encountering a cyber threat have increased worldwide year over year by 24%, from 11.25% to 13.9%, according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Avast.
Based on data from 10,000 computers belonging to home users as well as 1,000 computers used by businesses, this insight is part of Avast’s latest Global PC Risk Report, looking at PC threats Avast blocked in March and April 2021, and the same timeframe in 2020.
The report also looks into the risk of ‘advanced’ threats hitting businesses. Avast defines more sophisticated or threats never seen before as ‘advanced’ threats, designed to bypass common protection technologies included in security software, such as signatures, heuristics, emulators, URL filtering, and email scanning.
Geographies with more conflictive socio-political situations seem to be facing more risk in the online world as well. Asian countries are among the top countries where businesses are most at risk, followed by Africa and Eastern Europe.
For all types of threats, the geographies with the lowest risk were the Nordics, Western and Central European countries, in addition to the United States, Latvia and the Dominican Republic. This changes when looking at advanced threats, where the common denominator seems to be the size of the countries with populations smaller than 11 million.
“In the pandemic, enabling the staff to work from home at such short notice has posed serious challenges to business security. Not every company was prepared with secure business VPNs and remote access solutions, and cybercriminals have taken advantage of this. We observed an increased abuse of the remote desktop protocol, and specifically have seen ransomware attacks become more prevalent,” commented Michal Salat, Director of Threat Intelligence at Avast. “Overall, the risk ratio of businesses encountering malware attacks has increased worldwide.”