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…
Michael is a Tech Content Editor at Techopedia, who is passionate about delivering high-quality tech content online and ensuring the accuracy of our guides. With…
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.
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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.
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%).
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Free antivirus solutions can be equally effective as paid solutions in combating common viruses. However, with a rise in polymorphic and never-seen-before malware, paid solutions have a clear advantage because of their frequent updates and advanced malware detection methods.
The most effective antivirus on the market currently is TotalAV. That’s because it has an excellent virus detection rate, shows no false flags, and offers numerous extra features to provide complete protection offline and online.
While most antiviruses won’t sell your information to third parties, some free solutions may. That’s why you should opt for reputable solutions like TotalAV that won’t exploit your trust as a customer. While no antivirus can protect your devices from all external threats, consider subscribing to best-performing solutions, such as TotalAV, AVG, Avira, and others.
In the US, less than half of companies invest in cybersecurity solutions, including antiviruses. On average, just 5% of a company’s folders enjoy protection from external threats. However, while SMBs prioritize investing in performance and financial software, large enterprises place cybersecurity tools, such as antiviruses, on top of their priority list.
Every one in five people doesn’t use antivirus tools to protect their devices worldwide. However, the results on the demographics and device usage. For example, senior citizens in the US are more likely to rely on antiviruses than young people. Similarly, Android users are more likely to install an antivirus solution than iOS users.
According to Cloudflare’s statistics for 2022 and 2023, 279 million out of 13 billion processed emails had malware. In addition, 1 billion of these emails were phishing attacks that often lead to malware infection.
Although a reliable antivirus solution can detect malware in seconds, the average computer or smartphone owner may take days or weeks to discover it. That’s because antiviruses continuously scan your devices, looking for malicious files. Users can only react after they notice a performance loss, intrusive pop-ups, or other telltale signs of an infection.
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.
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