What is Malware and How Can We Prevent it?

What is Malware and How Can We Prevent it?

Malware attacks can cripple your ability to run your business. They can reveal sensitive information, damage your IT assets, and impact the efficiency of your staff. Because of this, you can’t afford to become the victim of a malware attack.

What You’ll Learn:

 

What is Malware?

Malware, which is short for malicious software, describes a kind of computer program which is designed to be covertly inserted into a user’s computer, and infect it, resulting in widespread damage. It’s also exceedingly common, with over 250,000 new forms of malware found every day.

There are several different ways that malware can infect computers and other devices. They also come in many different forms. For instance, some examples of the kinds of malware that exist include viruses, spyware, ransomware, and worms. Because of this, it’s critical that every user recognizes the various forms that malware can take and can take steps to protect themselves and their network from any malware.

The form of malware with which people are most familiar are likely computer viruses. Their name reflects their frustrating ability to spread through multiplication by making copies of themselves. Worms have a similar effect. Most types of malware, such as spyware, are named to reflect what they do, which, in this case, is the theft and transmission of personal information.

 

How can I Protect my Business Against Malware?

The key question that everyone needs to answer is: How can I make sure my business and its assets are protected against malware?

There are two parts you need to address to ensure that you’re protected. The first revolves around the vigilance of you and your staff. One of the most common ways that computers and other devices are infected by malware is through malicious emails, which can be easily disguised to look like something trustworthy. You and your staff need to be cautious around emails that ask you to do something, such as providing passwords. Particularly common are emails that contain links or attachments. These require specific policies and training to ensure that your staff understand the risks associated and can identify threats.

However, vigilance is but the first layer of protection. While malware often infects computers through emails and bad downloads, even downloads from legitimate websites can be already infected with malware. As a result, even if every single person in your business is extremely careful and doesn’t fall for any tricks, you can still get infected. Therefore, additional measures in the form of malware protection must be taken.

Case Study: CCleaner Compromised

Between August 15th and September 12th 2017, version 5.33 of CCleaner was infected with Floxif malware, which gathers and sends information on infected systems. Data like computer name, installed software, active processes, network MAC addresses, and unique IDs were gathered.

CCleaner distributed the malware for almost a month before it was caught and removed.

Resolute Managed IT

What do I Need to Know About Malware Protection?

The second way to protect your business is through comprehensive malware security solutions. They provide an internal ring of protection for your entire network. As a result, in order to prevent breaches or IT infrastructure damage, every computer should have a robust antivirus software solution in place.

There are several key features that all powerful antivirus solutions offer. They check downloads to see if any malware is detected to ensure that users don’t infect their systems. They’ll also regularly check devices to identify and remove any malware threats that may have slipped through. To ensure efficiency, these solutions should be regularly updated to allow them to recognize newer threats.

Top-quality antivirus protection solutions can also recognize – and even warn against – previously unknown threats, by checking various technical design decisions, like trying to mask activity on a device, that are typical characteristics of malware. Comprehensive antivirus software solutions detect and warn against dangerous websites, particularly those websites that may be purpose-built for phishing, which is a hacking technique that tricks people into providing passwords or other sensitive information.

Especially for businesses, malware protection software, while it does need to be robust, it also needs to be easily usable. It needs to be able to simply integrate within your systems without causing conflicts, and still offer extensive protection. While your IT department will be involved, you don’t want them to be spending all their time trying to resolve software conflicts. Find a software solution that has the previously mentioned characteristics that works with your business’s needs.

Even with antivirus in place, malware can find a way into your system via vulnerable apps, networks, and websites. By conducting a cyber vulnerability assessment, you can identify weaknesses in your IT security and ensure your antivirus is configured correctly to block dangerous threats.

 


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How can I Recover from an Attack?

Cyber Security Expert Preventing Malware Attack

Despite all the protection and safeguards you may have, your business can still be infected. When this happens, you need comprehensive disaster recovery planning solutions in place. This is especially true for ransomware attacks, which has become increasingly common, with over 4,000 attacks occuring every day since the start of 2016. Infection of ransomware software can cripple businesses and their ability to continue to operate until resolved by removing access to information, or even worse, leaking sensitive information.

Having a disaster recovery plan ahead of time can quickly get your business back at full capacity by quickly restoring your systems to a state before infection. If you haven’t performed an IT security risk assessment, you and your data could be vulnerable.

If you’re concerned about your existing IT security, Resolute has you covered. We offer IT security consulting services that will determine your current levels of risk and advise you on recommended steps and tools that you can use to shore up your security. We’ll make sure that your security is aligned with your overall business goals. Contact us to learn how we’ll protect your business from malware attacks.

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