Malware incidents spike by 165% in small and mid-sized businesses

If you felt as if the pressure was on to defend against even more attacks this past quarter, you weren’t just imagining things. Across the board, small to mid-sized (SMB) companies are suffering from more and more attacks, with a 165% jump from last year’s Q1 numbers.

Malwarebytes released its SMB Threat Report which breaks down the number of attacks by states, and it found some trends that could spell trouble for certain industries. In 40 states, the number of malware incidents doubled, and every state experienced at least some increase in the number of incidents businesses faced. In 10 states, there was a spike of 500% more incidents from February to March.

SMBs in certain industries have larger targets on backs

One of the hardest hit was Texas, where Malwarebytes’ researchers said has a fair amount of SMBs. Other states where businesses were more likely to be targets were Arizona, Hawaii and Alaska. That’s due to the high concentration of SMBs that deal with industries that focus on aerospace, automotive, chemicals, education, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, retail, technology and tourism, according to the report. These industries are attractive to hackers for the potential lucrative payoff.

So what does this mean for you and your IT department? Even if your company isn’t in one of the targeted industries, it’s likely it will be caught up in the swell of attacks that are predicted to keep rising in the coming years.

The report provided a breakdown of the attacks businesses are most likely to face, with adware leading the assault, so you’re able to better prepare your company’s cyber defenses. But it’s also important not to be overcome by cybersecurity fatigue: a phenomena in which users and IT pros alike are overwhelmed by the sheer number of security incidents and alerts, so they become apathetic about the situation.

It’s a dangerous mood to develop when you’re facing such a sharp increase in attacks. Keep your pros motivated by:

  • reminding them that a single slip-up could jeopardize years of hard work
  • appreciating the effort that’s been put in so far
  • recognizing a staffer’s exceptional actions, and
  • celebrating the successful implementation of a project.