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.
Avast is market leading anti-malware provider, known for powerful endpoint and network security solutions, aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. Avast’s anti-malware solution is cloud-based, providing seamless management through an integrated platform, quick detection, and rapid mitigation. The solution uses machine learning and behavioural analytics, alongside signature-based detection, to automatically identify and remediate advanced malware threats. Globally, more than half a billion endpoints are protected by the solution.
Avast provides powerful endpoint protection and can effectively block advanced malware attacks through suspicious content analysis and sandboxing capabilities. The software is lightweight and can be easily deployed across any endpoint device, server, laptop, or desktop. Avast also offers a powerful VPN feature to secure online connections and prevent malicious adware from tracking digital activity.
The solution is cost-effective, easy-to-install, and manage. It has a user-friendly admin dashboard, with management policies and comprehensive analytics. We recommend Avast as an ideal anti-malware solution for SMBs and mid-sized teams who require trusted anti-virus to secure all company endpoint devices.
BitDefender GravityZone is a comprehensive endpoint protection software that offers effective defense against advanced malware threats. Bitdefender’s response to advanced-level threats utilizes adaptive AI learning technology that analyses behavior and attack patterns, in order to effectively stop known and emerging malware threats. The algorithms monitor trillions of samples from a global network of 500 million users, ensuring that software is up-to-date. GravityZone provides centralized management for cloud, public, and virtual environments. Administrators can customize security policies to control endpoint protection, adjusting vectors such as firewalls, web-content scanning, USB scanning, and device control. The system can also be tuned to automatically detect and deal with threats as they happen, enabling business activity to continue.
Bitdefender also offer add-on modules to aid scalability for your business for both SMBs and MSPs. The Hyperdetect add-on adds an extra layer of defense against exploits and malware techniques. It also protects against zero-day attacks, credential theft, and custom malware attacks, thereby allowing for enhanced protection against outside threats.
One of Bitdefender’s key assets is its easy deployment and integration, with admins having the ability to customize policies and reports, tailoring the service to their business. Customers have praised its ease of use, security features, and lightweight desktop client that provides crucial information when attacks occur.
Crowdstrike Falcon offers total endpoint protection, with scalable options that cover small and large businesses alike. Each level of protection has its own detection and response AV capabilities.
Falcon Prevent is Crowdstrike’s endpoint protection module which features adaptive machine learning and AI to defend against incoming malicious threats. Falcon Prevent analyzes attack behavior to prevent sophisticated fileless and malware free attacks. As add-ons, Crowdstrike also offer their threat intelligence technology, USB device control and host firewall control. Falcon Prevent is available in all Crowdstrike plans.
Falcon Insight is Crowdstrike’s endpoint detection and response tool. Insight continuously records and logs attacks, provides comprehensive EDR protection, and improves efficiency of the process through easy-to-use APIs and threat prioritization. This is also augmented through Crowdstrike’s cloud system which allows you to maintain and manage endpoint performance, simple deployment, and eliminates the need for persistent signature updates. Falcon Insight is available in the Enterprise package; this also includes a threat hunting package which targets new and uncovered inbound threats.
Crowdstrike also provide an IT hygiene feature which expands user visibility and live data on incoming threats. IT Hygiene provides a central hub from which administrators can monitor who’s using your network at what time, track admin credentials, track session times for suspicious behavior, and evaluate passwords to improve compliance and security.
Users praise Crowdstrike’s fast and responsive support teams. The Spotlight feature has proved popular due to its visibility for threat vulnerability and its easy API integration. The Falcon range provides comprehensive coverage against malicious online threats for your business, however big or small.
Market-leaders, ESET, provide a cloud-based endpoint security solution, designed to protect businesses of all sizes from attacks like ransomware and malware. With central control and multi-layered protection, ESET Endpoint Security provides protection for computers, laptops, mobile phones and tablets, as well as file servers and virtual environments. The software utilizes AI learning technology and crowdsourced threat intelligence to identify and eliminate threats. It monitors behavioral patterns across supervised apps to help identify threats and catalogue the threat behavior to improve future identification. Web browser protection and keyboard protection add extra security for when a user visits malicious URLs or unwittingly downloads malicious content. Organizations have central control over their endpoints through ESET’s unified cloud-based management system.
ESET offer their endpoint security package as part of a multiple option, scaling price tier. The base Protect Entry package provides the cloud-based console, endpoint protection and file server security. Protect Advanced adds sandboxing and full disk encryption features. Protect Complete builds on the previous tiers by including mailbox security features, along with cloud app protection for endpoints. Protect Enterprise shares the same features as Advanced, however adds Endpoint detection and response.
ESET have been praised by customers for their strong cooperation and the platform’s simple design. The system provides robust protection against malware, whilst also providing a scalable solution for businesses of all sizes. We recommend ESET Endpoint Security for businesses with a worldwide workforce, and for those where there is a BYOD policy in place.
IRONSCALES provides email protection through a wide-ranging set of features, such as phishing simulation, user reporting, and automated threat remediation. The platform is fully cloud-based and its implementation into Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace is very simple, as MX Record reconfigurations are not required. IRONSCALES provides multi-layered protection against phishing and other email-based attacks, and because of the CheckPoint integration, there’s also protection against viruses and malware, all of which is controlled via a single admin console.
IRONSCALES’ technology combines machine learning with threat intelligence and crowdsourced threat reports to identify inbound threats. Emails in any state, whether sent, received or even delivered, can be automatically removed from the inbox, in accordance with the admin policies in place. Warning banners can also be placed on suspect emails, alerting users to potentially harmful sources.
A popular feature with the IRONSCALES platform is the fully customizable ‘Report Phish’ plugin, which can be added to users’ inboxes on any device, allowing them to report suspicious emails and helping deal with threats more efficiently. Upon reporting an email using the button, any fellow users who also received that email will be alerted, allowing the email to be quarantined or deleted, in accordance with the admin policies.
Praised by its users for its efficient removal of phishing threats, preventing attacks and its ease of access and management, IRONSCALES provides a strong defense against malware and malicious threats. With training modules and phishing simulations also on offer, users can be more prepared for when attacks may strike, adding that extra layer of protection. We recommend IRONSCALES for organizations who operate in a cloud environment, and are looking for powerful threat protection, user phish reporting, and awareness training capabilities.
Proofpoint are email security market leaders. Their Essentials security solution offers a single platform for spam-filtering, encryption, malware protection, archiving, and continuity. Proofpoint protects over 50% of the Fortune 100, the top five banks globally, and seven of the top 10 global retailers. Proofpoint analyzes more than 100 billion data points, 100 million email boxes, 200 million social media accounts, and 7 million mobile apps daily. Using this data, Proofpoint can bolster their defensive capabilities, keeping their protection up-to-date and defending against the most recent zero-day threats. Proofpoint Essentials is designed for the small to mid-sized business market, while Proofpoint Email Security is designed for enterprise organizations.
Proofpoint Essentials offers strong and reliable gateway email protection, keeping outbound and inbound content secure. The gateway stops a host of threats from attacking your business via email and within your network, as well as providing continuity, management controls, encryption, and archiving. With its easy deployment and adaptability, Proofpoint Essentials can be integrated with the likes of Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, but also with your business’ pre-existing email servers like Exchange.
Proofpoint Essentials combines certified antivirus protection, along with URL scanning and attachment sandboxing, thereby providing multi-layered inbox security. There is also a user-friendly search function which adds filters for users’ email archives, resulting in easier navigation. With Proofpoint’s market-leading threat intelligence, the software can ensure more accurate threat protection. Essentials also offers advanced protection against phishing attacks and insider threats, with options for granular policy configuration and reporting.
Essentials has the ability to host multi-tenant dashboards for MSPs, providing central client management. Proofpoint’s support network for their partners provides a wide range of marketing materials and webinars with flexible timings. Proofpoint Essentials still reigns as a favorite for SMBs due to its flexible price points and comprehensive protection. We’d recommend Proofpoint Essentials for organizations who are seeking a robust, flexible email threat protection, with encryption and archiving capabilities.
A single agent endpoint defense software, SentinelOne identifies, responds and stops threats for malware, ransomware, and zero-day attacks. SentinelOne’s endpoint protection, Singularity, provides scalability, threat prevention and control, threat detection, 1-Click Remediation, and threat hunting. Singularity is an easily accessible SaaS solution, with multi-tenancy and multi-site options. The platform enables simplified deployment and easy integrations with existing security posture. Singularity features AI learning technology that aims to combat file-based threats, firewalls, and granular device control for USB & Bluetooth.
The AI analyzes behavioral threats in real-time to detect fileless attacks, rootkits, and lateral movement within an account. This analysis is then tracked automatically with the storyline feature, plotting out the attack from start to finish, saving security teams valuable time. Customizable autonomous responses on the storyline allow admins to adjust the settings to their preference, with 1-click remediation for all endpoints.
There are two packages which include SentinelOne’s Endpoint protection: Singularity Control and Singularity Complete. Singularity Control includes SentinelOne’s SaaS global platform, along with anti-virus remediation and endpoint control. The package also has the option to add-on features for cloud-security, network features, and a host of SentinelOne’s services and support. Singularity Complete adds EDR features as standard, which covers MITRE ATT&CK Integration, the Storyline feature, and file integrity monitoring. SentinelOne is an easy to deploy, scalable solution for businesses of all sizes.
SpamTitan Cloud is a cloud-based secure email gateway that safeguards against email threats. The solution provides email content filtering, antivirus and malware protection, as well as protection against zero-day attacks. It utilizes several antivirus engines, resulting in effective malicious URL and attachment protection. With real-time scanning of email content, SpamTitan provides constant protection against inbound and outbound email attacks. Customizable management policies can be applied to individual users, domains, and domain groups. Admins can create whitelists, blacklists, and greylists for email filtering; the results of this can be quantified through granular reports.
Automated updates through the online admin console allow for central management and easy integration to your business’ system. There are a wide range of API integrations, so users can integrate SpamTitan with their third-party management products and existing infrastructure with ease. The product has a white labelled option for MSPs. Reports of effectivity demonstrate how effective the threat protection has been and highlights where you can improve your defenses.
SpamTitan Cloud is a popular choice with SMBs and MSPs due to its central management, accessible interface, threat protection features, and tiered pricing. This also lends to its high scalability, allowing it to be implemented across several users, with multi-level administration, and support for multiple domains.
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.