Malvertising on the Rise: Why Companies Need to Enhance Security Measures

    skycentral.co.uk | Malvertising on the Rise: Why Companies Need to Enhance Security Measures


    In recent years, online advertising has become an integral part of our daily internet experience. However, as the popularity of online ads increased, so did the risks associated with them. One of the most serious threats that companies face today is malvertising. Malvertising refers to malicious advertisements that are used to spread malware or exploit vulnerabilities in users’ browsers or devices.

    The Rise of Malvertising

    The prevalence of malvertising has skyrocketed in recent times, with cybercriminals exploiting the trust users place in online advertisements. Malvertising campaigns have managed to infiltrate even reputable websites, posing a significant risk to both users and companies. This increased prevalence is primarily due to the effectiveness of malvertising as a means of spreading malware.

    How Malvertising Works

    Malvertising typically involves cybercriminals tricking ad networks or publishers into displaying their malicious ads on various websites. These ads often appear legitimate, making it difficult for users to identify the danger. When a user clicks on one of these ads, they are redirected to a compromised website or, in some cases, the malware is downloaded directly onto their device.

    Ad networks are attractive targets for cybercriminals as they have extensive reach and may lack the necessary security measures to detect malicious ads. Once a malvertising campaign is successful and the ads are displayed on legitimate websites, potentially hundreds or thousands of users could be exposed to malware.

    Consequences for Companies

    The impact of malvertising on companies can be severe. The reputation of a company can be tarnished if its website is associated with malicious ads or if its customers fall victim to malware infections. This can lead to financial losses as customers may lose trust, and business opportunities may decrease.

    Furthermore, malvertising can also affect a company’s website analytics and performance. If an ad campaign results in a website being blacklisted by search engines or security software, it can significantly impact traffic and visibility.

    Enhancing Security Measures

    Given the alarming rise of malvertising, companies must take proactive steps to protect themselves and their users. Here are some essential security measures that every company should consider implementing:

    1. Ad Verification and Monitoring

    Companies should work closely with ad networks and publishers to implement robust ad verification and monitoring systems. Ad verification involves thoroughly vetting advertisers and their content to ensure they are trustworthy. Regular monitoring should also be conducted to identify any suspicious or malicious activity.

    2. User Education and Awareness

    Companies should educate their users about the risks of malvertising and how to spot potentially dangerous ads. User awareness campaigns can include providing guidance on ad-blocking software or advising them to avoid clicking on suspicious-looking ads.

    3. Utilizing Ad Blocking Software

    Installing ad-blocking software on company devices or recommending its use to employees can significantly reduce the risk of malvertising infections. Ad blockers help prevent malicious ads from being displayed and provide an additional layer of security.

    4. Regular Security Updates

    Keeping all software, including browsers and plugins, up to date is crucial in preventing malvertising attacks. Regular security updates often contain patches for known vulnerabilities that cybercriminals exploit.

    5. Implementing Web Application Firewalls

    Web application firewalls can detect and block malicious traffic, including malvertising attempts. These firewalls act as a protective layer between a company’s website and potential threats, helping to prevent malware infections.


    As malvertising continues to grow, companies need to recognize the seriousness of this threat and take necessary precautions to safeguard themselves and their users. Enhancing security measures, such as ad verification, user education, ad-blocking software usage, regular updates, and web application firewalls, can significantly mitigate the risks of malvertising and protect both company reputation and customer trust.