A report released by Symantec revealed that the Internet security company blocked 5.5 billion malicious attacks in 2011, an increase of 81% from the previous year. The latest annual Internet Security Threat Report stated that the increase in attacks was due in part to the increased use of advanced attack techniques, such as server-side polymorphism, which allow attackers to create a unique version of their malware for each potential victim.
The report also revealed the following:
- Businesses of all sizes are susceptible to breaches. Targeted attacks in 2011 were split evenly between SMBs and big businesses, with 50% of attacks targeting businesses with fewer than 2,500 employees and 50% going after businesses with over 2,500 employees. When it comes to attacks on big businesses, 42% of attacks were aimed at the mailboxes of high-level executives, senior managers, and people in research and development. The average number of identities exposed per breach was 1.1 million.
- Malware is on the rise. In 2011, there were 403 million unique variants of malware, compared to 286 million in 2010.
- Spam is on the decline. 42 billion pieces of global spam circulated each day in 2011. This is a significant decrease from the 62 billion daily pieces of spam in 2010. In fact, in December 2011, spam fell to its lowest level in three years.
For more information, click here to download the complete report.