Annual Antivirus and Malware Statistics

In this article, we’ll delve into antivirus statistics to highlight the importance of these tools in our everyday lives. Our computers and smartphones today are invaluable in healthcare, education, business, and even personal usage, thanks to recent technological advancements. However, these advancements also apply to cyber threats and their ability to harm businesses and individuals.

Although tech giants like Microsoft and Apple invest millions to improve the security of their devices and operating systems with each update, antivirus software remains the go-to solution for businesses and families. After thorough research, we’ve collected detailed antivirus statistics to help you determine whether you need to subscribe to one of the best antivirus services.

In addition, you’ll learn what features they offer, whether free solutions work, and more about the most notable threats businesses and consumers face today.

Key Antivirus Research Statistics

  • 9% of free antivirus software users were affected by malware in 2023
  • Although 80-90% of working adults know how to avoid phishing attacks, there were 300,000 reported phishing attacks in the United States
  • Cryptojacking saw a dramatic rise of 399% worldwide, replacing ransomware as one of the most notorious cyber threats
  • While 83% of US residents rely on antiviruses to protect their computers, only one in four uses smartphone antivirus solutions
  • The average company may take up to 277 days to identify a data breach

Antivirus Market Share

A report by Research and Markets shows that the global antivirus market share is steadily growing and currently stands at $4.25bn with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5%. For reference, its market share was valued at $4.06bn last year, and Research and Markets expects it to grow to $5.06bn by 2027.

antivirus market share
Research and Markets: Antivirus market share graph

The largest region in the antivirus software market is North America, closely followed by Europe. That information is closely related to the fact that the number of data breaches has increased almost tenfold in the last two decades. The increasing number of cyber attacks is why Research and Markets believe the antivirus market share will only grow and why every household and business should have a reliable antivirus solution installed.

The data from 6sense shows that Symantec Norton leads with a market share of 23.73%, closely followed by Kaspersky at 21.95%. Other notable companies include Sophos (18.87%), McAfee Cloud Security (12.47%), and ESET (4.97%).

antivrus market share and customers
6sense: Antivirus market share and customers

Mobile Antivirus Market

According to a report by Valuates, the mobile antivirus market is projected to grow from $727.8 million in 2023 to $824.4 million in 2029, at a CAGR of 2.1%. McAfee, TrendMicro, and Avast Software have the highest mobile antivirus market share, closely followed by ESET, Bitdefender, Fortinet, and other providers.

antivirus market share
Valuates Reports: Antivirus market growth graph

Kaspersky, one of the largest antivirus providers, reports that the Google Play Store is home to malware-ridden apps, with over 600 million downloads in 2023. In addition, the company found a zero-day malware iOS attack that’s effectively infecting devices even after the most recent software updates, stressing the importance of a capable antivirus solution even on iOS devices.

In the Americas, Bitdefender is the most popular mobile antivirus overall, according to the 2023 AV-Comparatives survey. Android remains the most used smartphone operating system, with only one-quarter of respondents stating they use an iOS device.

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AV-Comparative: Ssurvey on mobile OS use

Antivirus Statistics by Demographics

From September to November 2022, 65% of all detected cyber attacks targeted organizations in the United States. That’s a significant difference from Japan, the second on the list, with 8% of attacks targeting its organizations. While 80-90% of working adults know how to counter phishing attacks, frequently found in suspicious emails, how many use antivirus protection to counter other cyber threats?

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Statista: Share of attacks by countries

Percent of American Adults Using Antivirus Software

A recent survey by Security.org found that 85% of American adults use antivirus software, a significant growth from 2021’s 77%. However, 61% of those users rely on one of the best free antivirus solutions, which can’t match a paid service.

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Security.org: Percentage of American adults using an antivirus software

The survey shows that interest in antivirus programs rises with the age of the correspondents, as younger Americans show less interest than senior citizens. Americans older than 55 have an 86% usage rate, while those younger than 24 have a 65% usage rate.

It’s good news that senior citizens use antivirus tools to protect them from phishing attacks, the most common cyber threats that target seniors.

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Security.org: Percentage of Americans using an antivirus by age

While most apps exploited by hackers belong to Windows devices, browsing the internet or installing apps on your smartphones and tablets can also lead to personal risks. According to Kaspersky’s statistics, the Microsoft Office suite was exploited the most, with browsers on computer and smartphone devices taking second place.

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Kaspersky: Percentage of most targeted systems

Although Windows users have the hardest time defending themselves from malware, only one in four smartphone users protect their phones with an antivirus. However, 83% of US residents rely on antiviruses to protect their computers.

common antivirus software
Antivirus use by device

Popular Antiviruses Effectiveness in 2023

Evaluating the effectiveness of an antivirus program considers numerous factors. From their efficiency in blocking viruses and malware to the strain they put on your system, finding the best antivirus solution requires you to identify the one that perfectly balances speed and efficiency.

According to the October 2023 performance test that AV-Comparatives ran on popular antivirus programs, Avast, AVG, and Avira will slow your devices down the least. See our Avast vs AVG guide for more comparisons of the two products.

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AV-Comparatives: Antivirus speed comparison

A malware protection test from September 2023 shows that Avast, AVG, and Avira will also block the most malware-ridden files from infecting your computer. Avast has the highest detection rate in this test, with a 95.3% offline detection rate, 99.5% online detection rate, and 99.97% online protection rate.

In addition, it showed only one false alarm during the testing session, while less-powerful tools like F-Secure tend to show up to 25 times more.

highest detection rate antivirus
AV-Comparatives: Antiviruses compared by their detection and protection rates

While there’s always a possibility of falling a victim to a malware attack, subscribing to one of the best malware protection solutions can reduce those chances to as little as 0.03%.

Are Free Antivirus Products Effective?

Although free antivirus programs are more popular than paid solutions, they lack the cutting-edge features required to keep your devices safe from emerging cyber threats. During its survey, Security.org found that 61.2% of Americans use free antivirus software, while 32.4% pay for its advanced features.

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Security.org: Use of free and paid antivirus services compared

The surveyees also answered if their antivirus solutions ever failed to protect them from malware to determine the effectiveness of free and paid solutions.

According to the results, free antivirus software is as capable of protecting your devices as their paid versions. However, an average of one in ten antivirus users fell victim to a virus attack, regardless of whether it was a paid service or not.

popular antiviruses
Security.org: Is free antivirus effective?

Free antivirus users mostly use Windows Defender, as it’s built into the operating system and provides solid protection. Although Windows Defender, like most free antivirus tools, will effectively block over 90% of viruses and malware, installing a premium third-party solution will protect you from identity theft, phishing, ransomware, and more.

Business Computer Virus Statistics

The 2023 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey shows that 65% of businesses were victims of a payment fraud attack or attempt. What’s worrying is that 71% were victims of Business Email Compromise (BEC), a sophisticated version of phishing attacks.

Although these attacks start as a social engineering attack to obtain the credentials of a business account or email, they can result in hackers gaining access to your business’s software and uploading malware to take over or lock it down.

The most common malware hackers upload to business software is ransomware, a notoriously dangerous virus that hackers use to extort you in exchange for unblocking your business operations. However, Coveware reports that the percentage of ransomware attacks that successfully extorted businesses in 2023 fell to a record low of 34%.

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Coveware: Ransomware payment resolution statistics

Cloudflare’s 2023 report mentions 2,385 ransomware complaints compared to 21,832 BEC complaints in 2022.

And while relying on traditional solutions, such as two-factor authentication, can protect your business from common cyberattacks, a reliable antivirus solution will prevent most ransomware and phishing attacks.

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Cloudflare: BEC threats spike worldwide

Consumer Virus Statistics

While regular computer and smartphone users rarely have to fear ransomware attacks, phishing is still the go-to attack for hackers looking to inject viruses into their devices. In 2022, phishing was the most reported cyber attack method, with more than 300,000 instances reported.

While tech-savvy users may avoid regular phishing scams without third-party tools, the recent combination of polymorphic malware and phishing requires you to have a reliable antivirus to stop it.

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Statista: Commonly reported cyber crime categories in 2022

Malware statistics show Worms as the most commonly blocked malware type, with websites being the most common vector for malware attacks.

In addition, Avast noticed a rise in malicious push notifications worldwide. These push notifications require user permission to show, after which they bombard you with advertisements for illegitimate software that will infest your devices with malware if downloaded.

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Avast: Map showing the risk ratio for DealPly adware in 2023 Q2

In the US, Sonicwall reports that Kansas is the riskiest US state regarding malware attacks. However, New Jersey has the highest malware spread, with more than 10% of Sonicwall’s sensors registering a malware attack. Maine has the lowest malware spread, as only 7.4% of Sonicwall’s sensors logged a malware attempt.

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Sonicwall: Malware spread by U.S. states

Thankfully, the never-before-seen malware variants saw a drop of 36% compared to 2022. However, Sonicwall detected 172,146 new malware variants in the first six months of this year. While businesses using an antivirus don’t have to fear this type of malware, regular users may be at risk if they don’t integrate a third-party solution into their device’s defenses.

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Sonicwall: Number of never-seen-before malware variants discovered by year

Just like ransomware gave way to BEC for attacks on businesses, it’s being replaced by cryptojacking for attacks on regular users. Cryptojacking saw dramatic jumps in almost every region worldwide, with a total increase of 399%.

This malicious virus turns your device into a crypto mining rig, slowing its performance and threatening to break it down.

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Sonicwall: Global Cryptojacking growth by year

Popular Features of Antivirus Software

Some of the most attractive benefits of using an antivirus solution are its extra features. For example, the average company may take up to 277 days to identify a data breach and inform you that your credentials were compromised, while an antivirus continuously scours the internet and informs you immediately.

Here are some examples of the most impactful data breaches in the last ten years.

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Statista: Most significant data breach worldwide as of August 2023

Another popular feature comes from Internet Security suites and antiviruses with VPN services – third-party tracker and ad blocking. While popular browsers, like Chrome and Firefox, have built-in protection from malicious pop-ups, antiviruses will prevent every other threat. For example, WatchGuard reports that 96.4% of malware hides behind encryption on “secure” websites. Since your browser won’t inspect this traffic, employing antivirus protection is crucial to avoid opening malicious links.

Besides these powerful extra features, the AV-Comparatives survey has shown that antivirus users value real-time protection the most. They also highlighted the importance of advanced threat detection, performance, and malware protection. Users prefer antivirus apps that don’t slow their devices down, even if their malware protection scores fall behind more resource-heavy solutions.

More Antivirus Resources

Whether you’re a regular person who uses the internet to pay their bills and read the news or the owner of a web-based business, the statistics suggest an antivirus will benefit you. So check out our other guides regarding antivirus software:

Bottom Line

If there’s one certain conclusion to derive from these security facts and antivirus statistics, it’s that viruses aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Although the sharp decline in ransomware attacks is good news for businesses worldwide, the rise in attacks on regular computer and smartphone users suggests the trend will continue.

Businesses and consumers prefer all-in-one tools to common antivirus software, antivirus statistics show. With the post-COVID-19 shift toward remote and hybrid work models, users show more interest in antiviruses with some of the best password managers, VPNs, data breach monitoring, and other features. We expect this trend to continue, especially since antiviruses offer more feature-rich and affordable plans than ever before.

We also noticed a worrisome rise in cryptojacking. As ransomware fails to bring money to cybercriminals, they turned to the slower but more effective method of cryptojacking, which saw a jump from 48 million in 2022 to 211.7 million in 2023 in the US. That’s a 340% increase in just one year, and although we don’t expect to see a triple-digit attack percentage rise in the next few years, cryptojacking is unlikely to go away.

Security Facts FAQs

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References

  1. Antivirus Software Global Market Report 2023 (ResearchAndMarkets)
  2. Annual number of data compromises and individuals impacted in the United States from 2005 to 2022 (Statista)
  3. Anti-Virus (6sense)
  4. Global Phone Antivirus Software Market Insights, Forecast to 2029 (Valuates)
  5. Google Play malware clocks up more than 600 million downloads in 2023 (Kaspersky)
  6. Operation Triangulation: iOS devices targeted with previously unknown malware (Securelist)
  7. IT Security Survey 2023 (AV-Comparatives)
  8. Countries with the biggest share of prevented cyber attacks worldwide from September to November 2022 (Statista)
  9. Awareness of fundamental e-mail security concepts among working adults worldwide as of 2022 (Statista)
  10. 2023 Antivirus Market Annual Report (Security.org)
  11. 13 Horrible Scams That Target Seniors In 2023 (Rickorford)
  12. KSB Statistics 2022 (Kaspersky)
  13. Performance Test October 2023 (AV-Comparatives)
  14. Malware Protection Test September 2023 (AV-Comparatives)
  15. 2023 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey (Afponline)
  16. Ransom Monetization Rates Fall to Record Low Despite Jump In Average Ransom Payments (Coveware)
  17. 2023 Phishing Threats Report (Cloudflare)
  18. Most commonly reported cyber crime categories in the United States in 2022, by number of individuals affected (Statista)
  19. The Devastating Effect Of Polymorphic Malware (CybersecurityVentures)
  20. Malware types most frequently blocked in malicious files worldwide in 2022 (Statista)
  21. Avast Q2/2023 Threat Report
  22. 2023 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report
  23. What is a Data Breach? (IBM)
  24. Most significant cases of data breach worldwide as of August 2023 (Statista)
  25. WatchGuard’s Threat Lab Analyzes the Latest Malware and Internet Attacks (WatchGuard)
Ilijia Miljkovac

Ilija Miljkovac is a Techopedia writer with 7 years of experience covering all things tech. He writes about everything from cybersecurity to ISPs, ensuring businesses and customers are educated about the latest products and services. He's written for publications such as Business2Community, TheTechReport, Comparitech, and more. When he's not maniacally hacking away at his keyboard, Ilija spends his time either hiking in nature or holed up in his apartment gaming.