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How Dangerous Is Malware? New Report Finds It's Tough to Tell

Determining which malware is most damaging, and worthy of immediate attention, has become difficult in environments filled with alerts and noise.

Malware continues to challenge security teams, but those challenges have shifted as many say it has become more difficult to determine how damaging malware might be to their systems.  

In Dark Reading's 2021 Malware Threat Survey, 49% of security leaders say their biggest challenge today with new malware is assessing the risk associated with it. Of the 160 IT and cybersecurity professionals surveyed, 39% report a slight to significant increase in malware volumes since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Phishing continues to be the favorite malware delivery vector among attackers, but the overall proportion of organizations reporting these issues declined noticeably. This may suggest either malware and attacks have diminished in volume, or enterprises now have a harder time detecting them.

Among some of the report’s highlights:

• 41% of security and IT leaders identify ransomware as their top concern over the next two years.

• 15% of organizations report they experienced a serious breach or compromise at a frequency of once a month or more.

• 21% of respondents — more than double last year's 10% — describe nation-state groups as the threat actor they're most concerned about.

• 47% of respondents identify phishing as the most common attack vector for malware infections.

• 46% of organizations learn about zero-day threats from a central vulnerability disclosure agency; 36% from a threat intelligence feed or service.

Read the full report here.

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Kirsten Powell, Senior Manager for Security & Risk Management at Adobe
Joshua Goldfarb, Director of Product Management at F5