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Survey shows extent of web browser–based cyber threats

One data point: 60 percent of organizations surveyed had systems infected with malware via web browsing. Baltimore's Light Point Security commissioned the research.

Light Point Security cofounders Zuly Gonzalez and Beau Adkins. (Courtesy photo)

When it comes to cybersecurity, email is often talked about as one of the most basic avenues that malware can infect a network. But there’s also risk in just browsing.

New research conducted for Baltimore cybersecurity firm Light Point Security shows data on the cyber threats that companies have faced as a result of employees use the internet at work.

In the survey, Osterman Research found that of 146 responding enterprise security teams, 99 percent allow employees to access the internet. That’s perhaps not all that surprising given the web’s importance for productivity and communication. Yet it also poses risks.

Among the findings:

  • 60 percent of organizations surveyed had systems infected with malware through a web browser.
  • 30 percent of the organizations suffered loss of data through web browsing.
  • Employees spend at least three hours per work day using the web, which opens up exposure to 18.5 million websites infected with malware at any given time.
“The scary thing is that a lot of times this happens without a user’s interaction or need for the user to do anything, except landing on a website,” Zuly Gonzalez, cofounder of the bwtech@UMBC–based company, said of the security incidents.

Along with providing info to release for awareness, Gonzalez said Light Point Security was interested in the data since its own product offers protection for web browsing. As we’ve reported, Light Point Web isolates a browser to create a secure environment. After finding growth with clients in entertainment and healthcare, Gonzalez said the company is working with companies in a range of fields. Now the company has hard numbers around the threats.

“What we wanted to do was dig into, what are the challenges and the problems that the organizations are facing when it comes to their users and employees browsing the web,” Gonzalez said.

Companies: Light Point Security

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