June 15, 2017

Malwarebytes Releases SMB Threat Report, Finds New Malware at Unprecedented Rates in 2017

U.S. businesses encountered 165 percent more malware in Q1 2017 than in Q1 2016

 SANTA CLARA, Calif. – June 15, 2017 – Malwarebytes®, the leading advanced malware prevention and remediation solution, today released a security research report on the top malware threats among small and medium-sized businesses (SMB). The findings, presented in the Malwarebytes SMB Threat Report, quantify the rate of increase and geographic spread of ransomware among businesses over the last year and sheds light on how rapidly new malware families are impacting these businesses in 2017. All businesses studied in the report experienced an increased number of malware detections in Q1 2017 over Q1 2016. Businesses in 10 states experienced a 500 percent increase in ransomware in March alone.

To better understand just how quickly the threat landscape is evolving, Malwarebytes examined data taken from telemetry feeds of malware detections across computer endpoints in businesses protected by Malwarebytes solutions. This report focuses on the threats faced by SMB, businesses with less than 1,000 employees. All data was collected in the United States and represents malware encounters and remediations from January 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.

“We have noticed a massive influx of new malware types and attacks over the past year and wanted to better understand the threats that many of our business users are facing,” said Marcin Kleczynski, CEO, Malwarebytes. “Our findings demonstrate that the frequency of cyberattacks impacting small and medium-sized businesses has reached a level we have never seen before. Many of these businesses cannot afford even one breach and have limited internal IT staff to help manage their security programs. As security professionals, it is our job to keep up with this rapidly evolving threat landscape and develop technologies that can protect against the onslaught of new attacks impacting our users today.”


Key findings from the report include:

  • Businesses are experiencing more threats at an increasing pace. Findings from the report show that in the first quarter of 2017, businesses across the board encountered 165 percent more malware than they experienced in the same quarter of 2016. Additionally, businesses in all 50 states had an increased number of malware detections, with Arizona, Hawaii and Alaska leading the pack. In 40 states, total malware incidents more than doubled.
  • Ransomware among these businesses has reached new heights. In the data collected, the total ransomware incidents increased 231 percent in Q1 2017 vs. Q1 2016, and surged massively in March. In fact, 10 states experienced more than 500 percent more ransomware in March 2017 than in February 2017. Over the full first quarter of 2017, the three states with the largest increase in ransomware incidents include New Mexico, Texas and Montana.
  • Adware continues to be the most prolific malware encountered by businesses, with massive flux and new variants abound. Thirty-three of the adware variants detected among the businesses studied increased in incident rate by more than 100 percent in Q1 2017. Additionally, nine of the top 10 adware variants found in 2016 have been replaced by new variants in 2017, demonstrating a rapidly shifting threat landscape.
  • Businesses in certain states experienced much higher increases in malware encounters, likely due to the primary industries and types of businesses within those states. States with the highest incidents of malware detected among businesses include Maine, Arizona, Texas and Alabama. These states have heavy involvement in industries with high rates of malware encounters, including aerospace, automotive, healthcare, technology and oil and gas. Businesses studied in Texas showed the highest total number of overall malware incidents detected by Malwarebytes, with one in every five threats detected.

To view the full SMB Threat Report for more detailed findings and analysis, visit https://go.malwarebytes.com/MalwareTrendsQ217PR.html.

Today, Malwarebytes also announced the release of its new single endpoint agent cloud platform for business, featuring Malwarebytes Incident Response, Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection and a new cloud-based management console. Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection, now delivered as a service by the platform, features a signature-less Anomaly Detection Engine powered by machine learning. Combining seven protection layers, this new Malwarebytes solution is a more effective and efficient replacement for antivirus.


About Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is the next-gen cybersecurity company that millions worldwide trust. Malwarebytes proactively protects people and businesses against dangerous threats such as malware, ransomware and exploits that escape detection by traditional antivirus solutions. The company’s flagship product combines advanced heuristic threat detection with signature-less technologies to detect and stop a cyberattack before damage occurs. More than 10,000 businesses worldwide use, trust and recommend Malwarebytes. Founded in 2008, the company is headquartered in California, with offices in Europe and Asia and a global team of threat researchers and security experts. For more information, please visit us at https://www.malwarebytes.com/.

Malwarebytes founder and CEO Marcin Kleczynski started the company to create the best disinfection and protection solutions to combat the world’s most harmful Internet threats. Marcin was recently named “CEO of the Year” in the Global Excellence awards and has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Rising Stars of Enterprise Technology list and the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award, adding those to an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.




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