Companies are moving online as it is an easier means to expand their outreach. They can create targeted messages and reach out to a more extensive section of the audience. However, the dark web and hackers can get hold of your sensitive information and cause harm to your networks in several ways. Using malware is just one of them.
Malware attacks are a common means that hackers use against your digital assets. It is a broader term used to depict different forms of threats that can arise against your networks and underlying data. According to a report from Verizon, 20% of malware was from a web application, while 30% was installed directly. In this article, we will learn more about malware and the safeguards you can have.
What is malware
Malware is malicious software that can allow hackers to have unauthorized access to your account to get hold of your sensitive information. There is an intent to harm your networks and reside within a genuine application to cause harm to unsuspecting users.
This software can help hackers perform several functions like deleting sensitive data, encrypting required information, stealing them, or even hijacking core information.
Types of malware
We will now have a sneak peek into the types of malware that can attack your networks.
Ransomware is commonly targeted at larger enterprises and can bring in lots of money to hackers. It can use encryption techniques to disable the data and make them useless. The victimized organization is told to pay a considerable amount of money to get the data released.
They track the internet activity of a user and serves them unwanted ads. It is used to show unwanted ads or redirect you to ad sites. Adware involves the capture of your data on internet usage and sold to advertisers without your consent.
This malware disguise as genuine software or code but can take control of the computer system once downloaded. The trojans can hide in software patches, applications, games, etc. One on your system, the trojans can cause tremendous harm, including destroying data, modifying files, etc.
The worms can replicate to infect other computer systems too. They usually gain access through flash drives or by downloading malicious software. Worms can also be used for ransomware or DDoS attacks.
These malicious programs can be installed into the firmware or the kernels, applications, etc. It can give the hackers complete control of your computer system remotely. They can be spread through software downloads, shared drives, or phishing activities.
Viruses are among the common forms of malware that can lead to reformatting your hard disk or corrupting sensitive data. In addition, it can be used to create botnets, steal your information, send you unwanted ads, etc. They are usually downloaded through email attachments or other generic downloads.
These types of malware do automated tasks on receiving specific commands. They can be self-propagating and can connect back to the hacker’s server. They can be used to create a flood of remotely controlled and sustained against a business. They can interrupt supply chains and conduct sabotage through DDoS attacks.
What does malware do?
Most malware follows a basic pattern where the user will unknowingly download the malicious program on their terminal. The user can be lured into downloading the program, or the malware may reside in an otherwise genuine application. They can be spread through sharing software, while mobile devices can be infected through text messages.
Malware can be loaded onto the device’s internal hardware, making it impossible for it to be traced. Once downloaded, the malware can start the malicious activities and work towards the goals set by the hacker. For example, it can send spam ads or lock sensitive information. Malware attacks can also lead to loss of data or identity fraud, or theft.
How to protect networks against malware
Update your systems
One of the best ways to protect your systems from all types of malware is to update your software and operating systems at regular intervals. It will update the internal systems against the latest virus, worms, trojans, etc., detected. The IT team must set up notifications that will inform them bout these updates.
Have robust security policies
You must have strong IT policies that will restrict your employees from accessing their personal emails on official networks. It will also inform them about malicious emails and be safe from them. The IT team must set up the requisite policies to inform the employees what to check before downloading any software or accessing any external hardware.
Your IT team must have a strict policy about providing access to employees for locations that store sensitive data. For example, only authorized personnel with requisite credentials must have access to the data. You must also have policies for employees who are working from outside the office. Also, have strong guidelines for employees who bring their own devices to work.
Using an SSL certificate for the website
You must install an SSL certificate that will encrypt the communication with the visitor’s browser. It will ensure an authenticated exchange of information and ensure that you know with whom you are interacting. The visitors also are at peace of mind that any third party cannot access the information they share. You can use a Comodo SSL certificate that uses the latest encryption mechanisms and comes within your budget too.
Train your employees
You can prevent malware attacks by providing periodic training to your employees. First, cover all the ways and means by which they can face such attacks. For example, inform them how they can detect malicious emails. Also, inform them how to detect malicious software and refrain from downloading them.
Networks are increasingly targeted by hackers who are always looking to steal information. Any data breach malware can lead to hefty amounts being spent against repairing the breach. It is suggested that you understand how the attacks are planned and plug the vulnerabilities in your network. One of the primary ways is to install an SSL certificate. We have also discussed other ways to protect your website against malware attacks.