The first half of 2023 has seen an increase in attacks against Pinoy small and midsized businesses (SMBs) at more than triple from the previous year, according to data gathered by Kaspersky. Their nefarious scheme involves the use of malware that masquerades as business software.

Drawing anonymized data from its pool of SMB clients in the Philippines, Kaspersky saw a massive increase of 325 percent in H1 2023 compared to last year. The result was drawn following the global cybersecurity firm’s assessment of the threat landscape within the SMB sector.

Based on six Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, Kaspersky established the finding using the SMB Threat Statistics from the Kaspersky Network Security (KSN) telemetry. KSN enables the processing of anonymized cyberthreat-related data given voluntarily by Kaspersky users.

Using unique hits or the frequency of a cyberattack as the metric, Kaspersky’s data showed 1,847 unique hits from January to June 2023. That’s versus just 434 from the same period last year. The six-month record alone is also more than twice the recorded number throughout the entirety of 2022.

Known for using productivity tools like Skype, MS Teams, and MS Office as part of the business by SMBs, Kaspersky’s telemetry identified malware and unwanted applications mimicking similar programs.

Of the 196 SMB employees among Kaspersky’s clients who came across malicious software under the guide of business apps, only 76 users fell to the trick.

Malware, otherwise known as “malicious software,” is a collective term for programs designed to cause the network or the user’s device harm.

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