These days there are a growing number of computer viruses, ransomware, and more that can irreparably damage your business in the blink of an eye. With 2017 being a stunning year for cyberthieves with breaches at Equifax and Yahoo along with Wannacry ransomware attack on the global healthcare industry, businesses need to be more aware than ever of the dangers of malware, the damage they can do, and how to protect themselves.
Types of Malware
It’s important to know and learn malware classifications as understanding how they work and spread is the key to containing and removing them.
- Viruses: Malicious code with the ability to copy itself to great detrimental effect including, but not limited to, data destruction and system corruption.
- Ransomware: A malicious type of software crafted to block all access to a computer system until a specific amount of money is paid to the cyberthieves.
- Fileless Malware: Also called a fileless infection, it’s destructive code that’s written to the target computer system’s RAM as opposed to installation on its hard drive. The code injects into a select running process like javaw.exe or chrome.exe which it will then utilize for the exploit.
- Worms: Destructive code that sends copies of itself from one computer or device to another. Worms can duplicate themselves without human involvement and don’t require a software program for attachment to cause damage and loss.
- Trojans: Trojans create backdoors on your computer or device to give hackers access to your system, compromising your personal information and files. Trojans don’t self-replicate nor do they reproduce to infect other files.
- Adware: This form of malware runs advertisements on your computer and can redirect search requests to websites it selects. While one of the less dangerous forms of malware, they collect data about user habits on the infected system.
- Spyware: This form of malware collects information on user habits on the infected system and transmits them covertly to a third party from the hard drive.
The Impact of Malware on Businesses
The damage malware can do to your business can range from annoying to severe. While a trojan virus may create an irritating increase in email communications, other types of malware could result in the destruction of an entire network, critical data loss, and more. Keep in mind the damage can be intentional or unintended on the part of the malware’s creator.
The damage malware can inflict includes, but isn’t limited to, the following:
Data Loss and Theft:
- Data Loss and Theft: The damage, deletion, or theft of data on computer systems, servers, or networks.
- Hardware Failure: Repetitive actions within the malware can cause CD/DVD drive failure, BIOS damage, and more.
Inoperable Computer Systems and Networks:
- Inoperable Computer Systems and Networks: The destruction of individual computer systems, servers, and networks.
What Can Businesses Do?
How can businesses hope to avoid malware? There are a growing number of security products and services available that can be vital in a business’s cyber defense strategy. Such preventative measures can only take you so far, however. Products, alone or in collections, aren’t enough to keep companies safe online and avoid malware.
Wise businesses would do well to devise cyber security strategies focused on detection and response. Ideally, companies should have around-the-clock threat monitoring. Depending on the threat, you could find yourself facing substantial financial loss, damage to your reputation, and more. Detection is crucial because once a threat is detected, skilled security experts can immediately contain and remove the malware to avoid or minimize any damage.
Such a strategy would need to be maintained to keep a business as secure as possible online. To ensure you have the expertise and tools you need to deal with such attacks, consider outsourcing the services of experienced cybersecurity experts. While many small businesses assume the cost won’t fit into their budget, the option should still be explored. The cost of a large-scale attack to your business could financially cost more and that doesn’t factor in the potential damage to your company’s reputation and brand should your customer data be lost or compromised.
Work with the experts to devise strategies so the unthinkable doesn’t happen.