While computer hackers get more and more creative and clandestine in their activities, companies are struggling to fend off cyber attacks almost every day. The latest report from reputable Internet security teams at Symantec and Verizon offer a disturbing look on how challenging it is for a computer user to stay safe while online.

Symantec’s security threat analysis in 2014 revealed that thieves are working much more efficiently and at an alarmingly faster rate than companies can defend themselves.  This has resulted in the launching of more and more malicious attacks than in previous years. About 317 million new pieces of malware, which are basically computer viruses and other malicious software, were created just last year alone.  This is equivalent to almost a million threats being released each day.

The hackers actually relied on ancient computer bugs that companies just have not gotten around to fixing yet, this is according to Verizon’s 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report.

In almost 90% of cases, hackers mainly relied on computer bugs that have been around since 2002.  The 3rd most commonly used method by hackers is through the use of a glitch in the way an IT manager remotely manages corporate PCs – one that has been in operation since 1999.  Conventionally speaking, companies should have already provided a patch to fix the flaw but surprisingly most have simply neglected it.

According to Verizon Security Data researcher Bob Rudis, “While it seems like a no brainer for fix some of these things, organizations care more about making widgets,” He says further that companies just do not have the time or manpower to tackle the issue.

Based on the same Symantec report, directed attacks and breach of data also grew with five out of six large companies being targeted by cybercriminals.   This represented a 40% increase based from the previous year.  Among the industries most affected, mining was the one that suffered the most brazen attacks. Hackers were mostly just trying to sell whatever sensitive information they can get on the black market for a quick buck.