Houston Named ‘Most Infected’ City for Cybersecurity

List of top 10 ‘most-infected’ cities in U.S. in terms of devices that carry malware is opportunity for integrators breaking into cybersecurity options for their clients. Chicago, Phoenix, Denver and San Antonio are next in line.

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“Houston … you have a problem.”

Webroot, an endpoint security and threat intelligence company, revealed the top 10 most malware-infected U.S. cities and Houston takes the crown with 60,801 infected devices. Chicago was found to be the second most infected city with 49,147 infected devices, followed by Phoenix with 42,983 infected devices.

For integrators based in these cities, it might be a good sales opportunity to bring in robust, commercial-grade networks for your clients with strong cybersecurity protection. 

The research reflects the number of PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones that have been infected with malware. Surprisingly, each infected device has, on average, between six and 24 pieces of malware installed.

Webroot's top 10 list most infected cities and number of infected devices includes:

  1. Houston – 60,801
  2. Chicago – 49,147
  3. Phoenix – 42,983
  4. Denver – 39,711
  5. San Antonio – 39,646
  6. Dallas – 37,630
  7. Los Angeles – 34,050
  8. Las Vegas – 31,836
  9. Minneapolis, Minn. – 28,517
  10. Charlotte, N.C. – 27,092

The 10 most population-dense cities, according to The United States Census Bureau and in order of decreasing population density, are New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Long Beach, Calif., Los Angeles and Seattle.

Webroot data, however, revealed very little correlation between population density and the number of infected devices in the city. In fact, only two of the most infected cities, Los Angeles and Chicago, are among the most population-dense cities.

“Our most infected cities list shows that cybercriminals have no geographical bias,” says David Dufour, senior director of engineering at Webroot. “Whether you live in a big city or small town, from east coast to west coast and everywhere in between, you are susceptible to being a victim of malware. It is in everyone's best interest to run a security solution on their personal device, and to make sure that all security software subscriptions are current.”

What Can Dealers Offer Clients to Stay Secure? 

Even integrators who do not offer cybersecurity solutions should at minimum advise their clients on good practices to avoid device infection. Among the tips from Webroot are:

  • Purchase and deploy a top-rated security solution. Look for cybersecurity solutions that continuously protect personal information without taking up disk space or otherwise affecting user experience by making devices unavailable during scans.
  • Keep your security software up-to-date. Make sure that all security software subscriptions are current.
  • Avoid free public Wi-Fi. Cybercriminals are known to create ad-hoc networks that look like free internet, but actually launch a “man in the middle” attack. It's best to stick to secure networks when on-the-go.
  • Use a password. Lock mobile devices to ensure data remains secure.
  • Use good judgment. Be extra vigilant about the websites visited, the URLs followed and the applications and mobile apps used.
  • Store sensitive data in the cloud. Generally, encrypting ransomware only has the means to encrypt files stored locally on a user's system. Because of that, data stored in the cloud can often be more secure than storing on a home network.