According to the latest report from McAfee Labs, which was released by Intel Security, businesses face a substantial increase in the number of ransomware attacks.
In the first quarter of this year McAfee Labs saw a 165% increase from the previous quarter in new ransomware.
The malware is said to encrypt company data and demands payment for the decryption key.
Researchers have said the rise in attacks was due to the new, hard-to-detect CTB-Locker ransomware family called Telacrypt and the emergence of new versions of CryptoWall, TorrentLocker and BandarChor.
McAfee Labs suggest organisations and individuals make it their priority to learn how to identify phishing emails.
Researchers also attributed the spike in exploits to the popularity of Adobe Flash as a technology, new methods to exploit vulnerabilities, a steep increase in the number of mobile devices that can play Adobe Flash Files and the difficulty of detecting some Adobe Flash exploits.
Senior vice-president of McAfee Labs Vincent Weafer said: "With the popularity of a product like Flash, there comes a tremendous responsibility to proactively identify and mitigate security issues threatening millions of users.
"This research nicely illustrates how the technology industry works together constructively to gain an advantage in the realm of cyber security - industry partners sharing threat intelligence, and technology providers acting on information quickly to help prevent potential issues."
McAfee Labs is urging organisations to be more diligent in keeping their products updated with the latest security patches.
The first quarter report also reported developments with PC malware growth, mobile malware, SSL and spam botnets.
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