Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. recently revealed in their September 2016 Global Threat Index that ransomware attacks continued to rise during September, as the company revealed the most prevalent malware families attacking organisations’ networks in the period.

For the first time since the research was launched, ransomware moved into the top three positions in Check Point’s index of the most prevalent malware, with the Locky ransomware accounting for 6 percent of all recognized attacks globally during September. The relative presence of ransomware attacks, within the total number of global attacks, increased by 13 percent. In line of recent trends, the number of active malware families remained high, with three new entries making the top ten, including Chanitor, a downloader for malicious payloads, the Blackhole exploit kit, and Nivdort, a multipurpose bot. For the sixth consecutive month HummingBad remained the most common malware used to attack mobile devices.

Overall, Conficker was the most prominent family accounting for 14 percent of recognized attacks; second placed, Sality, accounted for 6 percent; and third placed Locky was responsible for 6 percent. In total, the top ten families were responsible for 50 percent of all recognized attacks. 

Nathan Shuchami, Head of Threat Prevention at Check Point explained, “The continued growth in ransomware is a symptom of the number of businesses simply paying ransoms to release critical data, making it a lucrative and attractive attack vector for cybercriminals.  To remedy this, organisations need advanced threat prevention measures on networks, endpoints and mobile devices to stop malware at the pre-infection stage, such as Check Point’s SandBlast™ Zero-Day Protection and Mobile Threat Prevention solutions, to ensure that they are adequately secured against the latest threats.

“With the number of active malware families remaining high, combined with the range of attack methods used by the different families, it is clear to see the scale of the challenge organizations face in securing their network against exploitation by cybercriminals,” added Shuchami.

For more on this and to see the most recent mobile threats, please check out the full Global Threat Index report from Check Point Technologies on their site.