The "Kneber botnet" used by hackers to gain access to data on 75,000 systems in 2,500 organisations around the world, is yet another indication of the rising level of sophistication in cybercrime, says consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
The discovery by security firm NetWitness of this botnet that targets corporate networks and users' access credentials should make company boards sit up and take notice, said William Beer, information security director at PwC.
"Companies need to consider conducting a risk assessment to establish the size, number, nature and source of the attacks, gauge the vulnerabilities, and assess the resulting impact on their business," he said.
According to Beer, too many organisations continue to rely on traditional approaches to combat the ever-changing threat from malware, which has evolved into a targeted, effective tool of choice for cybercriminals.
"Malware will continue to evolve, improve and have higher success rates, so it's time for organisations to rethink their current security strategy to ensure they can defeat the latest attacks," he said.
NetWitness CEO Amit Yoran said the large-scale compromises of enterprise networks have reached epidemic levels.
"Conventional malware protection and signature-based intrusion detection systems are by definition inadequate for addressing Kneber or most other advanced threats," he said.