When you're done reading this, the world will face over 500 new cyber threats

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About 360 000 new unique malicious files are detected by global cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab every day.

That's 250 per minute, or just over four per second.

This was one of the statistics mentioned at an information session hosted by the company in Cape Town on Monday.

Kaspersky Lab has 400 million users worldwide, including 270 000 corporate clients. The company’s global revenue grew by 4% year-on-year (y/y) in 2018.

A third of the company’s employees are in research and development.

Sergey Novikov, deputy director of Kaspersky’s global research and analysis team, explained that the "malware evolution" has taken place over the past 25 years, both in terms of  quantity as well as sophistication.

In 1994 there was about 1 new malware detected per hour; by 2008 it was about one per minute and by 2011 about one per second.

"There is no 100% protection, because the user remains the weakest link," said Novikov.

Cyber weapons

He said more than 90% of the estimated 360 000 unique cyber threats launched each day are still "traditional cyber crime". The rest are more sophisticated, for instance about 9.9% are targeted at specific organisations.

Then there is the 0.1% of attacks which are regarded as the most sophisticated and dangerous, namely related to "cyber weapons" aimed at critical infrastructure.

"For Kaspersky 2018 was a very important year. We took important steps to educate and spread awareness throughout the world," said Amir Kanaan, managing director of Kaspersky Lab for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

"We also took important steps to ensure the integrity of our product and our solutions."

The company opened its first transparency centre in Zurich and a second will open in Madrid.

“This was a very important executive decision to start our global transparency initiative. We moved important processing pieces from Moscow to Switzerland and have already had positive feedback from our partners in Europe,” said Kanaan.

* The time estimated to read this article is based on the average person taking eight minutes to read 1 000 words.

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