Malware hit these 3 verticals the hardest in 2017

Malware and ransomware owned the security landscape in 2017, with Carbon Black projecting ransomware will be a $5 billion crime by the end of the year.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Finance, healthcare, and retail were the verticals most impacted by malware in 2017. — Carbon Black, 2017
  • Ransomware will be a $5 billion crime in 2017, up from $850 million in 2016. — Cybersecurity Ventures, 2017

While malware hit hard across the enterprise in 2017, three verticals were the most impacted: Finance, healthcare, and retail, according to Carbon Black's 2017 Threat Report.

The growth of malware in these particular industries mean that CIOs and CTOs in these verticals may need to increase their investments in cybersecurity in 2018. However, protecting against malware itself isn't enough, as 52% of all attacks in 2017 were non-malware attacks, the Carbon Black report found.

SEE: Quick glossary: Malware (Tech Pro Research)

Of the malware families detected, these five were represented the largest percentage of attacks overall:

  1. Kryptik - 15.7%
  2. Strictor - 14.7%
  3. Nemucod - 12.4%
  4. Emotet - 10%
  5. Skeeyah - 7.3%

Ransomware continued its dominance as a major form of cybercrime in 2017. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, it will be a $5 billion crime in 2017. To put that into perspective, ransomware was only worth $24 million in 2015 and $850 million in 2016, the report found.

Tech companies were the most targeted by ransomware in 2017, representing 19.2% of all attacks. Attacks against governments and NGOs represented 17.4% of attacks and 16.1% of ransomware attacks hit legal organizations.

Specifically, Spora, CryptXXX / Exxroute, Locky, Cerber, and Genasom were the most common ransomware variants seen this year. Spora is known for its ability to steal browsing information or record keystrokes, as noted by our sister site, ZDNet. Cerber, on the other hand, was one of the first major ransomware-as-a-service offerings, which led to its rise in popularity.

For more information on how to protect your Windows computer from ransomware, click here. If you're a Mac user, this article will help you protect your machine from ransomware.

To better understand ransomware, check out TechRepublic's cheat sheet for professionals.

Also see

Image: iStockphoto/vchal

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox