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UK companies hit by more malware than ever before

British businesses are being hit by more malware than ever, new research has revealed.

In the wake of the huge WannaCry attack last month, an investigation by cybersecurity experts Malwarebytes found that that malware incidents faced by UK businesses increased 500 per cent year over year. 

The UK almost topped the list when in came to the countries with the highest number of malware detections in Europe (coming in marginally second to Italy 16.3 per cent and 16.2 per cent respectively) in the first quarter of 2017.

And whilst Malwarebytes’ investigation found that ransomware actually saw a four per cent drop across Europe compared to the previous quarter, UK businesses saw a 57 per cent increase in the number of attacks.

In fact, UK is hit by more ransomware than any other European country and there were three times as many detections during the first three months 2017 than the next most impacted country. 

Malwarebytes is now looking to assist companies being hit with this huge wave of attacks with the release of  a new cloud-based platform that combines the company’s Malwarebytes Incident Response (IR), Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection (EP) and a new cloud-based management console.

Speaking to ITProPortal at the recent Infosecurity Europe 2017 event in London earlier this month, Malwarebytes CEO Marcin Kleczynski said that the company was looking to do more for its customers following the devastating effects of WannaCry.

"It's a very interesting industry to be in - nobody ever prays for this kind of cyberattack to happen, but it's good to see the awareness when it does happen," he said.

"This specific exploit was a perfect storm," Kleczynski said, noting that victims of WannaCry didn't need to click on anything to launch the malware, or have a specific version of Windows running.

A month on from the initial attacks, Kleczynski highlights that WannaCry is now probably the 'best understood' attack to happen recently. However the attack could have been much worse if the attackers had been professionals, and if they had been nation-state sponsored - something he doesn’t think happened.

"I truly believe that (WannaCry) was not a targeted attack, and it certainly was not done by a nation state as many have hypothesised,” he adds. “This was a rookie didn't look like it was ready for prime time!"

"But that's the world we live in today,” he added, “the next recession could very well happen because of a cyber-attack."

"I think we live in a world that's trying to figure itself out in terms of security, encryption, freedom of information - the next 10 years are going to be very interesting."

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and ITProPortal.