Virus alert: Antivirus statistics and trends in 2020

Antivirus statistics - Featured image

Our computers and mobile devices can never be too secure, especially if we keep important files on them or use them for work. Having smart browsing habits and avoiding sketchy-looking websites sure helps a lot, but sometimes a piece of malware still manages to slip through. That’s why we still need an antivirus program installed, even in 2019.

The antivirus software market is, therefore, still growing. Here’s a roundup of the most recent antivirus statistics and trends in the industry.

Key antivirus statistics:

  • Antivirus and firewall software market is worth over $37 billion.
  • Over 350,000 pieces of malware are detected every day.
  • There were a record-breaking 10.52 billion malware attacks in 2018.
  • ESET holds the biggest market share among Windows antivirus solutions.

Antivirus industry statistics

1. The value of the antivirus and firewall software market is over $37 billion.

(MarketWatch)

Securing computers, smartphones, and other connected devices from malicious software has proven to be extremely lucrative for developers. Companies like McAfee and Symantec have generated billions of dollars in revenue over the past decade or so, and the whole market’s value is still rising.


2. Antivirus market share statistics show that ESET is the new leader, with the 12.89% of the market.

(Statista)

The Bratislava-based creators of NOD32 antivirus have taken the lead when it comes to protecting Windows users from malicious software. This is now the most popular antivirus program, overtaking McAfee Inc (11.9%) and Symantec Corporation (10.27%).


3. The average cost of antivirus software is around $30 per year.

(Amazon)

Buying antivirus software for your personal computer won’t break your bank anymore. Annual licenses are affordable and usually priced between $20 and $50 per machine. You can expect to pay up to $80 if you need a more complete security solution for your PC.


4. With a 10.17% share of the market, BitDefender is the most popular free antivirus.

(Statista)

In the battle for the title of best free antivirus, statistics are in favor of BitDefender, which finds itself marginally ahead of Avast. The latter currently has a market share of 10.09%, while the previous contender for this title – Malwarebytes – has dropped down to 7.29%.


5. Every day, at least 350,000 new malicious programs are detected.

(AV-Test Institute)

Whether they are viruses, trojans, worms, or other unwanted apps, malware just keeps on growing and spreading. Antivirus statistics show significant growth in the number of viruses, with 17.7 million malware programs being detected during September 2019 alone.


6. There are more than 970 million pieces of malware circulating the internet right now.

(AV-Test Institute)

The unstoppable growth and development of malware means that, today, there are more of these harmful apps than ever before. Annually, malware numbers grow by 100 million. This growth has been especially prominent since 2013. Before that, malware grew at a quarter of its current rate.


Antivirus usage statistics

7. More desktop users have antivirus software installed than laptop users.

(Statista)

In the United States, desktop PCs tend to be better protected against viruses than laptops. Around 89% of desktop users use antivirus software, while 80% of laptop users have installed antivirus software on their portable computers.


8. Only half of mobile devices in the US are protected by an antivirus.

(Statista)

Antivirus install share statistics definitely point to mobile devices lagging behind their PC counterparts. Only 49% of smartphone and 50% of tablet owners have installed antivirus protection on their devices.


9. On a monthly basis, only 4% of Windows Defender users encounter a piece of malware.

(Microsoft)

The adoption rate of Windows 10 has helped the growth of Microsoft’s own antivirus program. The tech giant’s latest report shows that, on average, fewer and fewer users are encountering malware, including the infection attempts that Defender successfully blocks.


10. Avast’s antivirus statistics show that 55% of PC software around the world is outdated.

(Avast Press)

Having antivirus protection on your PC is just one cog in the finely tuned cybersecurity machine. Apps also have to be up to date to avoid potential security holes that cybercriminals can take advantage of. Unfortunately, many users still haven’t got into the habit of updating their software. A recent study conducted by Avast found that Skype, VLC Player, and Adobe Shockwave are the least-often updated apps, with over 90% of computers still using the outdated versions.


11. More than half of Windows 7 machines have no antivirus protection.

(ZDNet)

Speaking of outdated software, the still-popular Windows 7 is a potential security risk. Not only have users stopped updating it, but Microsoft has revealed that antivirus adoption statistics are the lowest among these PC users. On the other hand, fewer than 10% of Windows 10 users surf without a third-party antivirus, simply because this operating system comes with Windows Defender pre-installed.


Mobile antivirus market

12. By 2024, the mobile security market will be valued at $42.18 billion.

(MarketWatch)

With the lightning-fast expansion of smartphone and tablet markets over the past few years, the market for antivirus software and other security solutions has grown rapidly. More and more users now require protection for their devices against malicious software and the market is responding to that demand, with earnings rising appropriately. Analysts predict a growth of 48.09% during the period from 2018 to 2024.


13. The latest smartphone antivirus statistics show there are 1.3 billion mobile devices with antivirus software installed.

(Statista)

Just as malware programs are spreading among mobile devices, so is users’ awareness that they need to upgrade their security. In 2013, there were 325 million smartphones and tablets with antivirus apps. That number has since quadrupled and is continuing to grow.


14. RiskTool is the most common mobile malware, accounting for 54.06% of all infected devices.

(Statista)

Although it’s not completely malicious by itself, RiskTool opens up your smartphone to further breaches and makes it easier for hackers to access the system’s sensitive files. That’s why it’s so widespread. The second-most common mobile malware is Trojan-Dropper, which is present in 17.21% of malware-affected devices, followed by AdWare at 8.4%.


15. Kaspersky protected nearly 10 million mobile users from viruses and malware in 2018.

(Securelist)

Antivirus effectiveness statistics from Kaspersky show that this number was higher in 2018 than in the previous year. The company reported that its mobile antivirus software successfully protected 9.89 million unique Android users from malicious software, an increase of 774,000 compared to 2017.


16. More than 3.6 million mobile infections were registered in 2016.

(Statista)

Contrary to popular belief, the prevalence of mobile malware has declined in recent years. It hit its peak during Q2 of 2016, but currently there are fewer than a million pieces of malicious software spread across mobile devices. That doesn’t mean you don’t need an antivirus in 2019; statistics show that there tend to be spikes in malware activity throughout the year.


17. As of September 2019, there have been more than 335 million installations of harmful apps via Google Play.

(Lukas Stefanko)

In September 2019, there were 172 Android apps available via Google Play that contained some form of malware or otherwise harmful pieces of code, and those apps had been installed more than 335 million times. In recent months, Google has removed 46 of them.


18. Nearly half of popular Android antivirus programs fail at their job.

(Comparitech)

Free Android antivirus apps aren’t the best choice for smartphone security. The latest antivirus software statistics show that an alarming 47% of mobile anti-malware apps can’t successfully detect serious threats. How many of them track you and bother you with ads, though? All of them.


Malware infection and detection rate statistics

19. In 2018, there were a record-breaking 10.52 billion malware attacks.

(SonicWall)

There was a huge spike in malware activity during 2018, with 2 billion more malware attacks than in 2017. However, those attacks made up only 22% of all cybersecurity breaches.


20. On average, antivirus software is only 25% successful at detecting malware.

(Brian Krebs)

Statistics on computer viruses and antivirus software show that, unfortunately, the malicious apps are winning the battle. Currently, “popular” malicious programs are having a field day, even against top-of-the-line antivirus software. There’s no such thing as a fully impenetrable wall; some viruses and trojans pass through completely undetected during the initial encounter with the antivirus.


21. Half of all malware attacks target the United States.

(SonicWall)

The US suffered 5.1 billion malware attacks in 2018, a huge number more than any other country in the world. China, on the other hand, has seen a decrease in the number of malware attacks, but remained the second-most-targeted country with 601.6 million malware intrusions.


22. Every fifth internet user has been a victim of a malware attack at least once in their life.

(Securelist)

The boom of the internet has led to many attempts by malicious users to spread viruses, trojans, and other malware. It’s becoming less common to catch a virus online, as statistics on antivirus software use show. Still, a significant portion of internet users have reported they’ve at least once ended up with a virus on their computer.


23. 70% of all infections come from Microsoft Office vulnerabilities.

(Kaspersky Lab)

It’s 2019 and the methods viruses and trojans use to spread have changed. Now, the most common way is through Office files, with many vulnerabilities enabling malicious users to infect and spread documents. Internet browsers are still vulnerable, though, and make up 13.67% of all malware infections.


24. Trojans are the most common malware.

(Statista)

According to cyber security statistics, antivirus software deals with trojans the most often. These malicious tools appear in 11.3% of all attacks. Other common malware includes browser modifiers with 4.1%, software bundles at 3.9%, and worms at 3.8%.


25. Ransomware is used in just 0.3% of all internet attacks.

(Statista)

The news reports might make you think otherwise, but ransomware isn’t actually that common. Antivirus statistics for 2019 rank it as one of the rarest tools used by malicious users, along with backdoors (0.4%) and password stealers, which are a part of just 0.2% of malicious attacks.


26. Nearly half of all computers in China are infected with malware.

(Statista)

China has a serious malware problem with its computers. In fact, 47% of all of the computers in China are reported to be infected by some form of malware. Other countries with very high infection rates include Turkey (42.88%), Taiwan (38.98%), Guatemala (38.56%), Ecuador (36.54%), and Russia (36.02%).


27. Sweden has the lowest ratio of infected computers: just 20%.

(Statista)

Let’s look at some positive antivirus statistics for a change. Nordic countries seem to have the best security against malware right now. In Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark only a fifth of computers are infected with malware, closely followed by Japan (21.8%) and the Netherlands (22.4%). In the United Kingdom, every fourth computer suffers from a malware infection.


28. The highest ratio of infected mobile devices is in Pakistan.

(Statista)

Mobile devices are most vulnerable in Pakistan, where 37.54% are infected with malware. Iran isn’t far behind at 31.55%. These are the only two countries with a mobile infection rate of over 30%.


29. There were 116.5 million malware attacks directed at mobile devices in 2018.

(Securelist)

Kaspersky Lab has noticed an interesting trend in its antivirus software usage statistics: Even though the number of malicious software installations dropped by more than 400,000 in 2018, the number of attacks on mobile devices nearly doubled in just one year, jumping from 66.4 million in 2017.


30. The most widespread computer virus of all time caused $10 billion worth of damage in just a few days.

(CNET)

In the year 2000, a virus called ILOVEYOU spread like a wildfire. It managed to infect 10% of internet users at the time, spreading via an email attachment and causing system failures by deleting all the files on the infected computer. Its creators were never charged for the damage.


31. McAfee, Kaspersky, and ZoneAlarm have the highest detection rate among antivirus programs.

(MetaFlows)

Looking for the best antivirus software? Statistics compiled from wide-ranging antivirus tests show that these three programs stand out above the rest with a detection rate of between 43% and 44%. Among the free solutions, the most-popular options performed best: AVG and Avast, both with a detection rate of 42%. The largest antivirus companies boast the widest detection range, while those providing free anti-malware solutions tend to catch culprits a bit sooner.


Frequently asked questions

How effective is antivirus?

No antivirus is 100% effective against all forms of malware. That said, having some of the most common antivirus software installed on your computer or mobile device is always better than having nothing at all. Protection from most threats is always better than no protection, after all.

How many antivirus are there?

There are numerous antivirus solutions currently on the market, with some of them being completely free to use on your home PC. The most popular and effective ones, though, will require either a one-time payment or an annual subscription before you can install them.

What is the most secure antivirus?

The most secure antivirus apps, with the highest rate of protection against malware, are Kaspersky, McAfee, and ZoneAlarm. These three programs lead the way, as is shown by popular antivirus statistics. They detect malware quickly and provide a strong layer of security for your computer or mobile device.

Is it worth paying for antivirus?

Currently, there are many great free antivirus programs on the market. However, there’s always a catch, as you will either have to put up with a lot of ads, live with incomplete protection, or find out that the free version doesn’t end up being completely free. So, in short, yes, it’s worth paying for a good antivirus.

What free antivirus is best?

Avast and AVG are among the most popular and reliable free antivirus programs currently on the market. It’s also worth looking into the free versions of otherwise premium antivirus programs like Kaspersky, Bitdefender, and ESET, although the latest antivirus statistics show that paid solutions are much better at detecting malware than the free ones.

Sources