Friday is the peak day for malware distribution, according to a study examining cyber threats and cyber-threat awareness.
That may come as no surprise to IT security staff, used to being called into work at the weekend, or having to clear up malware messes on a Monday morning. But it has been confirmed by a report from cloud security services vendor Cyren, who examined daily malware distribution trends in its latest Cyber Threat Report.
According to the report, cyber-criminals deliberately ramp up their malware distribution efforts on Fridays in order to take advantage of what they suspect will be less protected corporate systems, and employees with their guard down.
Cyren’s analysis suggests that Friday sees more than three times the level of malware distribution on a Friday compared to Monday – 2.25 billion attachments containing malware compared to 600 million on a Monday
“There has always been anecdotal evidence from colleagues and clients that Mondays are the worst day for cleaning up threats and breaches,” according to the report.
It continues: “Cybersecurity professionals report that as employees return to the office on Monday and login to corporate networks, security alerts begin popping up. These professionals speculate that when employees take their laptops home over the weekend, they connect to the Internet through public or unsecured WiFi, and proceed to surf the web and download content.
“Because employees are no longer behind perimeter Web firewalls, they may connect with sites that contain unsafe or inappropriate content that would otherwise be blocked while surfing in a secure office environment. Additionally, users may also click on links or download content that comes through in email.”
Part of the problem, argues Lior Kohavi, chief technical officer at Cyren, is that organisations are trying to secure their companies networks using security technologies that are a decade or more old, while the number of endpoints and potential threats they need to secure have multiplied. Furthermore, those threats are mutating faster than ever.
Cyren also noted a trend among malware propagators of increasing personalisation in their phishing campaigns in order to make them more convincing.