Malware is a malicious type of software that attacks your system, looks to steal sensitive information, and corrupts your files. It’s a dangerous cyber-attack that your business needs to be aware of, and have the correct defenses in place to help protect yours and your customers’ key data assets.
According to a recent survey, when asked whether they believed their organization to be protected against ransomware (a form of malware), 50% of the 582 information security professionals asked didn’t feel they has sufficient protections in place. That’s a worrying statistic, especially when you consider that, on average, 230,000 malware samples are produced daily. Even when up-to-date endpoint protection was in place, around 75% of companies still fell victim to ransomware.
What these statistics show is that it’s not only important to have the correct awareness of the incoming malware threats that may hit your business, but also to ensure that you have the correct protection for your business. From SMBs to large-scale organizations, every organization’s needs are different, and when it comes to protecting yourself from vicious malware attacks, these different defense techniques matter.
There are several different methods of preventing attacks from harming your business, from security awareness to endpoint protection, and email gateway security. So, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 methods and solutions to help defend your business from malware attacks.
What Is Malware?
The word “malware” is a portmanteau created through joining “malicious” and “software”. Malware is, then, software that is designed to negatively impact your accounts or network.
Why would someone design malware? Because your loss, is a malicious actors gain.
Malware developers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities and loopholes that will allow them access to your accounts, data, or money. This type of software can be designed to complete any number of tasks, in a variety of creative ways. Malware is not fixed but is continually being edited and rewritten by malicious actors, intent on navigating the latest security protocols.
What Are The Different Types Of Malware?
Technically, malware can be created to perform in any way that the coder wants it to. There are, however, several key “breeds” of malware that work in a very specific way to achieve a specific goal.
- Trojans – These take their name from the famous “Trojan Horse Story”. As with the story, this type of malware presents itself as one thing – such as an application or harmless film download – but is actually host to malware. When this is installed or opened, the malware is activated and given access to your computer system.
- Bots – A “bot” is an infected computer that can be centrally controlled by the malware creator. They can infect multiple devices – not just ones that you own – then control all devices at once in a targeted attack. These are often used to overwhelm servers and causing sites to crash.
- Ransomware – This type of malware will corrupt and lock you out of the files on your network. The malware will then demand that you pay a ransom fee to regain access to your content. It is worth noting that even if the ransom fee is paid, there is no guarantee that you’ll regain access to (all of) your content. It is worth making regular backups of your data to nullify the effects of ransomware.
- Spyware – This type of malware will lurk within your network without drawing attention to itself. Its aim is to gather data – such as usernames, passwords, and bank details – which can then be used against you. One type of spyware – known as a keylogger – will record the keys that a user presses. This will give them access to any credit card details or social security numbers that have been entered.
This is not an exhaustive list of the types of malware that exist, it merely gives you a sense of what these programs are capable of. Cybersecurity professionals are engaged in a constant battle with malware programmers. As a new malware emerges, new security will be implemented, which, in turn, encourages the malicious actors to innovate once again. The cycle is ongoing.