Micro and mobile antivirus software can help keep your PC safe from ransomware, but the tools have their limits.
The most popular antivirus solution, Trend Micro’s Antivirus Plus for Windows, is the default choice for many businesses and individuals because it provides instant and consistent protection, but its users are getting increasingly frustrated as it grows in popularity, a survey of more than 3,000 people conducted by the Anti-Ransomware Association shows.
“The main reason is that most businesses have no time to install a new version of antivirus and most of the time they don’t want to change the settings on the PC.
So the default settings have become the defaults,” said Ramesh Mehta, an anti-ransomware analyst at the Anti Ransomware Foundation.
“The second reason is, if you’re running a Windows 7 PC, you’re not going to install the newest version of Antiviruses, either.
And that’s because Windows 7 is not as secure as Windows 8, and that’s what the Antiviral Plus for PCs are designed for.”
Trend Micro said its antivirus is up to 70 percent more effective against ransomware than its predecessors, but that’s only when it’s running on a fully patched version of the Windows operating system.
The antivirus maker, which also provides a suite of other antivirus products, said in a statement that the results of its survey reflect the current state of the industry.
“Our results suggest that the latest version of Trend Micro Antivar’s software is the best-rated and the safest to use, but it should be noted that the best results are only found when the system is fully patched,” the company said.
Trend Micro says its antiviruses are as secure and as quick as Windows 7 and can be used to help protect against viruses, botnets and spam.
But it also said it’s the best way to protect against ransomware, which has been spreading since at least the beginning of this year.
Ransom note infections spike in March, March 2017, when more than a million ransomware attacks were reported across the globe, according to a study by antivirus vendor Symantec.
In March, the total number of ransomware attacks was up by 25 percent from the previous month, the researchers said.
Rates of ransomware infections spiked again in April and May, when an additional 5.5 million ransomware-related files were downloaded and encrypted by hackers.
Symantech said the ransomware outbreak had impacted nearly 1.5 billion computers worldwide.
Antivirus companies have been grappling with the challenge of keeping customers safe in the face of the rise in ransomware.
The number of anti-Rocker ransomware infections has spiked to an all-time high of 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, according a report by antivirusty firm Security Intelligence.
The total number was 5.7 percent in April.
The latest ransomware-induced growth comes as many companies have found ways to block access to their networks and their software from Windows, the operating system that powers most of their PCs.
But it’s not the only threat facing the PC industry.
A new cybersecurity report from security firm Gartner said that more than half of all enterprises are vulnerable to the growth of ransomware, the threat that threatens the security of a network of computers, computers or the data on them.
“We have the worst ransomware outbreak since the 1980s, and it’s accelerating,” Gartners senior cyber strategist Jason Hulm said in an interview.
“It’s not just the U.S. but the world is becoming more vulnerable to ransomware.”
Hulm and others say companies need to look at their business models and how they interact with the cloud.
He said the cloud can help protect systems by offering more security features, but companies need more ways to leverage cloud computing.
The cybersecurity firm said more than 75 percent of companies surveyed were not using cloud services to protect their data.
The biggest concern among IT professionals is that cloud services are not yet reliable enough to provide protection, the Garters report said.
The biggest threats include a lack of cloud protection features, poor security and limited interoperability with other cloud services.