HTTPS Encryption Does Little to Stop Malware Attacks, New Study Shows

A network security firm by the name of WatchGuard Technologies has revealed some surprising stats about malware attacks, namely in how ineffective HTTPS is at preventing them. HTTPS is an encrypted connection that is supposed to help users maintain privacy online as well as increase security in an online space, but with all of that having been said and now out of the way it is important to note that the majority of malware attacks that have been record in the past year came through these kinds of servers.

However, it should also be noted that this might not be a flaw in HTTPS itself, but rather an overreliance on its presumed secureness by companies and the like. Many companies tend to ignore traffic that comes through HTTPS connections due to the reason that they would assume that this traffic would not contain any malware, and that is precisely why 91.5% of the malware that has infected computers in the past year has come through HTTPS connections.

Simply put, the assumption that HTTPS is inherently secure is making companies lax about their security practices, and this is why so many malware attacks have managed to slip through. WatchGuard itself was responsible for preventing over 16 million different variants of malware which averages out to around 438 per device that was being used.

Hybrid work models are also a big part of why malware attacks have been on the rise. People that are working from home will obviously not have the same level of security as they would at the office, but they are still connected to their company’s network infrastructure. This couple with poor cybersecurity practices is what results in such a high level of malware prevalence in the world right now.

The prevalence of Microsoft Office products in the workplace can also be a pretty significant factor because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up enticing malware actors into taking advantage of security gaps. It’s not that Microsoft Office is inherently insecure either, it’s just that the sheer number of attacks that end up being conducted on Microsoft products ends up making it so that they become vulnerable in the long term.

All of these things show why malware attacks have gotten so common despite having seen a pretty reasonable decline. All of these things are factors that we should be paying attention to, and the most important thing for companies to do here is to start monitoring traffic from HTTPS sources because there is no way to determine whether or not they contain malware until and unless they go about doing so.

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