83% Of Consumers Have Basic Security Protection Leaving 17% Unprotected
83% Of Consumers Have Basic Security Protection Leaving 17% Unprotected
(Thursday, May 31, 2012 11:20:11 AM)
Thursday, May 31, 2012:
McAfee today announced that it has conducted a global study, analyzing data from voluntary scans of an average of 27-28 million PCs per month, to determine a global estimate of the number of consumers who have basic security software installed. The study found that 83% of consumers had working basic security protection, and 17% of PCs scanned either had no anti-virus installed or the software was installed, but disabled.
“It’s gratifying to see that the majority of consumers have gotten the message that at the very least they need to have basic security protection installed,” said Todd Gebhart, co-president of McAfee. “Protecting digital devices against cybercrime from malware not only benefits each of us personally, but also serves to discourage illicit activity and preserve the integrity of the Internet, which benefits the greater good.”
Globally, the study found that 83% of consumers had working basic security protection.
17 of PCs scanned either had no anti-virus software installed or it was installed but had expired.
The country with the highest percentage of PCs with basic security protection is Finland with 90.3% of its consumers protected and 9.67% unprotected.
The country with the lowest percentage of PCs with basic security protection is Singapore with 78.25% protected and 21.75% of consumers unprotected.
The data for unprotected consumers was broken down into two groups:
Consumers who did not have any security software installed
The country with the highest percentage of PCs without any installed basic security protection is Spain with 16.33%.
Consumers who had installed but disabled anti-virus protection
The country with the highest percentage of users with installed, but disabled, security protection is Singapore with 11.75%.
India almost occupies the mid-spot in the overall ranking with 17.32% of consumers without protection and 82.67% with active security protection.
10.9% of Indian consumers have no security protection installed; 6.42% have security software installed but disabled
Digital Assets Are Highly Valued; Consumers Don’t Protect Data, Devices
While security protection rates globally for PCs are reasonably high, the McAfee Digital Assets (insert source) study released in September 2011 revealed that more than a third of people (36 percent) don’t have security protection on all of their devices and seven percent have no protection at all.
As smartphones and tablets continue to integrate more deeply into consumers’ daily lives and cybercrime targeting Macs continues to grow, protecting those devices becomes increasingly critical. Easily accessible personal data, including financial and credit card information stored on mobile devices are attractive to cybercriminals and identity thieves, and personal digital material such as photos, can be virtually irreplaceable should devices be lost or stolen.
While not mainstream yet, consumers face a growing threat of mobile malware, with McAfee Labs predicting that more than one in 20 devices will be infected within the next 12 to 24 months.
“Today the number of smartphone and tablet devices has eclipsed PCs,” Gebhart continued. “According to the McAfee Digital Assets study, consumers place an average value of $37,438 US on the‘digital assets’ they own across multiple devices—people in the U.S. valued their assets at nearly $55,000 US, the highest figure of all countries3we surveyed. With this in mind, we encourage consumers to extend protection from PCs to all of their digital devices and the data on them.”
The survey also revealed consumers globally say 27% of their digital files are “impossible to restore” if lost, and not backed up properly, and had an average value of $10,014 US.
This is echoed by a 2011 national study released by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), which revealed that nearly three quarters (72%) of Americans have never installed security software or applications on their smartphones.
McAfee makes it easier than ever for consumers to protect all of their devices with McAfee All Access, which protects all of a consumer’s digital devices for $99.99 US. McAfee All Access is a single solution that protects consumers’ PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets from a variety of threats--wherever they connect. Consumers stay safe when they shop and surf on the net, visit social networks, click on online images, or use their email—no matter what device they’re using.
Shortly after it launched, McAfee All Access was awarded Editors’ Choice by the PCMag (insert URL).
Why Are Consumers Unprotected?
Some reasons that consumers don’t have security may include:
Consumers may not be accustomed to installing their own anti-virus because security software is often pre-installed via the computer manufacturers. They may not understand that once the trial subscription expires they are no longer protected.
Some consumers may disable their security protection on purpose, to play online games, for example.
Some PC users believe they don’t need protection if they simply adhere to safe surfing best practices.
Consequences of Unprotected PCs
Without even basic security protection, consumers can be more vulnerable to:
Malware infections which are difficult to remove
Data loss — cybercriminals can steal financial credentials like user names and passwords through hidden malware such as keyloggers and exploit that information for financial gain
Identity theft from hacker activity which can involve cybercriminals accessing a consumer’s PC and exploiting all of his or her personal information
Beyond consequences for individuals, growing cybercrime rates can impact the Internet and how we use it. Documented cases of cyber-attacks against banks, technology companies, e-stores, and government agencies are increasingly in the news and have cost those affected millions, if not billions of dollars. Many of these attacks start by exploiting unprotected or under-protected devices.
Stopping cybercrime is complex and law enforcement officials struggle with several issues:
· Internet crimes often cross international borders and laws in each country differ—if they exist at all.
· Anonymity adds another level of difficulty; hackers can hide IP addresses by routing traffic through numerous servers, for example, and that makes it difficult to track criminals.
· Evidence gathering can also be an issue. Digital evidence is fragile, and savvy cybercriminals can even rig their computers so when certain data is accessed by outsiders, it is destroyed.
In the offline world, criminals have many obstacles – from locked doors and alarm systems on homes, businesses and office buildings to extensive law enforcement networks, but the Internet has no such defenses. Security software is consumers’ first and, in many cases, only defense against cybercrime.
On Feb 2, the United States’ FBI Director Robert Mueller warned Congress that, “down the road, the cyber threat will be the number one threat to the country. James Clapper, director of national intelligence warned that the US has seen a ‘dramatic increase in malicious cyber activity targeting US computers and networks.’”
Clapper noted that almost two-thirds of US firms report that they have been the victim of cybersecurity incidents or information breaches, while the volume of malware on US networks has more than tripled from 2009. He cited industry estimates that the production of malware has reached its highest levels, with an average of 60,000 new pieces identified per day.