Malware is a massive threat to anyone who uses electronic devices, and they’re rampant than ever today. Anyone can be targeted by malware, but one of the more apparent targets are businesses. A lot of malware focuses on security vulnerabilities in software. This leaves companies at high risk for data breaches, theft, and private information released. Not only do companies need to worry about personal information, but information regarding their employees, customers, and the business itself. What’s even worse is that malware doesn’t discriminate, meaning it’s not just large enterprises at risk but also small businesses.
It’s critical for anyone who owns a business to be proactive about ensuring their security is up to par, so we’ll discuss what there is to know about malware in this article. Read on below to get started.
The Basics of Malware
Malware, short for “malicious software,” is a type of software designed to do something harmful. Some may do it for the sake of doing it, but most of it is done for some kind of gain. This is important for you to know because it’s the reason there is so much malware. Some are created because of a vendetta against the company, while others are designed for nefarious purposes such as stealing data and money.
There are many different types of malware, and they do a wide range of things—some examples of what they do include information theft, keylogging, hijacking computers, and data destruction. You can share the details of why the malware was created, but in the end, it’s simply a malicious program that you want to get rid of.
Types of Malware
Malware is essentially a type of tool that is used to do something like steal data or control your device. Because of this, there’s a wide range of different kinds of malware that you could deal with. These are:
Spyware, like malware, is used to steal information from you. It’s used to steal data and send it elsewhere, usually in hopes of getting some kind of financial gain. While malware is the more common type of spyware, you’ll also find spyware used for corporate purposes. Some companies use spyware to track the Internet traffic of their employees, but it’s not limited to just them. It can be used against anyone.
Viruses are similar to malware in that they’re both damaging to your device. However, they’re different in that they are usually created to be destructive. They’re designed to do things like monitor your activity on your device, delete files, and even lock you out of your device altogether. Some viruses are designed to spread from computer to computer, but not all.
Worms are different from viruses since they’re not programs. Instead, worms are more like viruses, except they rely on networks to spread. A worm hooks into a network and then uses that network to create a copy of itself and spread it to other networks.
Trojans are a type of malware that may look like an app, but it’s designed to do something terrible. They are essentially fake apps designed to give someone else access to your device. Some Trojans may use keylogging directly, while others use it as a means to some broader goal. One common type is ransomware.
Ransomware is essentially a Trojan that locks you out of your device until you pay someone. It does this by encrypting your files, which stops you from accessing them or preventing you from using the program. You often have the option to pay someone to get the file unencrypted, but if you do not pay them, you will lose all of your files.
Rootkits are malicious programs that are installed onto your operating system. They’re designed to hide, and they often work by hiding information or manipulating sensitive data. Hackers commonly use them to gain a foothold in a device, but as technology has advanced, they’ve become more advanced as well.
Keyloggers are another type of Trojan used to gain access to a device. Their purpose is to monitor your keystrokes on your device, which is what gives them away. If you notice that keystrokes are being inserted slowly, or you are getting a lot of incorrect characters, you may have a keylogger in your system.
Malware is not always easy to spot. However, these are some things you can look for:
- Strange Phone Numbers: One of the most common ways malware attacks is by hijacking your browser. You might start getting phone calls from unknown numbers, and when you answer, it just sounds static. These calls are designed to get you to answer so that they can infect your computer.
- Your Computer Takes Over: If your computer takes over and starts doing things you didn’t tell it to, there’s a good chance it’s been infected by malware. It may also run programs trying to get you to pay the attacker money.
- Your Computer Gets Slow: Malware can slow down your computer, and sometimes it can be so bad that you may have to turn your computer off.
- Spam: Lots of spam is sent out from malware, and it’s not always easy to spot the difference. If you start getting lots of spam, it may be coming from malware, or it may just be directly from an email account. You can detect malware spam by checking the email address.
Protecting Your Business
Malware is a massive threat to your business, so you want to make sure you’re protected. Here are some tips for you to get started:
- Patch Your Software: This is one of the simplest things you can do, but it’s also one of the most important. You want to make sure your software is up to date so that it doesn’t get infected.
- Use Antivirus Software: Most antivirus software comes with some protection, but you can upgrade to get the best protection. It’s also one of the most affordable ways to get the protection your business needs.
- Use a Firewall: A good firewall will help block unauthorised data from entering your computer. It will also make it harder for hackers to try to access your computer if they’re trying to gain access from the outside.
- Change Your Password: If you use a computer, you probably have a username and password. You want to make sure that your password is as strong as possible. It should have a combination of numbers, punctuation, and caps. It’s also a good idea to change your password every so often, just to ensure it hasn’t been leaked.
Malware is a big problem, and it will continue to grow. You should always be looking out for your business and to make sure that it’s safe. Follow these tips, and if you’re not entirely sure where to get the best protection, contact a computer repair service. They’ll be able to help you get the protection you need.
Cyberwebnic is a digital brand protection company specialising in securing data against malware. We understand that not all businesses employ the same security measures, so our solutions are tailored to suit clients’ needs. Contact us today to learn more!