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State of Malware Analysis: 2022 Report

Attitudes, Statistics, Trends, and Best Practices to Address File-Based Cyber Threats

INTRODUCTION


As organizations grapple with Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), targeted attacks, and highly- motivated ransomware groups, malware analysis has become a critical business process to help respond to emerging threats. Mature organizations have moved beyond “check the box” compliance to adopt a security posture that not only “assumes breach” but also proactively consumes threat intelligence to better understand their adversaries and hunts for threats to stay ahead of attackers.

It is evident that malware analysis is maturing as a business process since 48% of surveyed organizations reported that they have a “dedicated” malware analysis function. Furthermore, the majority of surveyed organizations (58%) reported intermediate capabilities for malware analysis, such as sandbox tools for threat detection.

However, despite this growing sense of maturity, nearly every organization (93%) is challenged by malware analysis. These challenges are rooted in tedious manual processes – a lack of automation, integration, and accuracy.

Furthermore, even more organizations (94%) are challenged by the staffing requirements for malware analysis – finding, training, and retaining experienced malware analysis talent. Even worse, struggles with burnout point toward a greater trend of employees leaving the workforce – the cybersecurity skills gap has never seemed more apparent.

Consequently, most organizations (66%) are turning to managed security service providers (MSSPs) and vendors to help shoulder the burden (at least partially). Even more so, 74% of organizations are training existing employees to acquire malware analysis expertise.

If malware analysis is to continue maturing as a business function, then organizations need to be aware of their current limitations. OPSWAT conducted this research to help organizations understand the greatest challenges facing malware analysis today so they can make better- informed decisions and improve their own programs.

KEY FINDINGS EXPLORED IN THIS REPORT


  • Malware analysis tools lack automation, integration, and accuracy
  • Organizations are challenged to find, train, and retain malware analysis staff