The report, titled The New Mafia: Gangs and Vigilantes, focused on a “new age” of organised cybercrime, comparing the cybercriminals of today to the Mafia gangs of the 1930s.
It found that business leaders greatly underestimated their vulnerability to cyberattacks despite acknowledging the reputational and financial risks.
Businesses and consumers were urged to act like “vigilantes” against the threat of the attacks, adding that people should engage with companies that have been hacked instead of shame them.
“Through greater vigilance and a comprehensive understanding of the cybercrime landscape, businesses can support the efforts of legislators and law enforcement, while also taking matters into their own hands,” said Malwarebytes chief executive Marcin Kleczynski.
Malwarebytes argued that cybercrime had damaged victims’ confidence, leaving affected consumers and businesses too embarrassed to speak out.
The report encouraged business leaders to engage and learn about the networking platform C-Suite, so they could recognise the signs of an attack and respond appropriately.
“The most damaging cyberattacks to businesses are the ones that go undetected for long stretches of time,” said Kleczynski.
“In spite of high-profile occurrences over the last year, this report shows that many business executives may still have knowledge gaps to fill.
“CEOs will soon have little choice but to elevate cybercrime from a technology issue to business-critical consideration.”
Last month, a survey by EY found nearly three in five organisations (56%) were concerned about the increasing impact of cyber threats, with malware and phishing believed to increase risk exposure.
In October, PwC revealed that nearly one in five (17%) organisations in the UK had not prepared for a cyber attack, highlighting a need for businesses to treat cyber threats more seriously.