Trojan horse. Spyware. Viruses and worms. You’re likely familiar with some the most common security threats to small businesses. Although they go by different names, they all fall under the same cyber security category — malicious software, aka, “malware.”
Understanding the nature of this threat to your computers’ security is the first step to preventing malware from infiltrating and taking down your business. With the right managed IT team behind your company, you can help to prevent your assets from becoming infected with malware.
What is malware?
Malware encompasses any software program created to perform unauthorized actions on another user’s computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Here are a few facts:
- There are more than 5,000 new malware attacks every day.
- The average time to resolve a malware attack is over 25 days.
- The average financial cost to a business is $3 million.
- Over 60 percent of the websites that expose computers to malware are legitimate sites that have been compromised.
How does malware disrupt a business?
Malware can disrupt small businesses in many ways — from freezing day-to-day operations to stealing private data. Here are a few examples of what malware can do:
- Take control of your computer and all the software running on it.
- Alter and delete your files
- Steal your sensitive information.
- Send malicious emails on your behalf.
- Install pop-up messages saying your computer has a security problem or other false information.
- Reformat your computer’s hard drive causing the complete loss of your information.
What are the types malware out there today?
Here are seven examples of the most common type of malware impacting small businesses today.
- Trojan Horses: These are the most malicious malware programs. They are designed to make a user think they are using a safe program, such as an antivirus scan. However, they are actually programmed to steal personal and financial data. They not only infect the end-user’s device, but also break into websites and modify them to help infect more victims.
- Viruses: This is a contagious piece of code that infects software, replicates itself, and spreads within the computer and to other computers that share software.
- Worms: This is a malicious program that replicates itself throughout a computer network and destroys information, including operating and data files saved on the host PC.
- Adware: This is software that delivers advertisements to the targets’ computer, which is programmed to examine which Internet sites the user visits frequently, and to present and feature related advertisements on them.
- Spyware: This malicious software that infiltrates your device and spies on you by tracking your internet activities. This allows the hacker to gather information about your system without you knowing.
- Ransomware: This is an advanced type of malware that restricts access to a computer system until the user pays a fee. Typically, a pop-up appears on the screen warning that your have been locked out of your computer and can access it again only after paying the cyber criminal a ransom for the restriction to be removed.
- Mobile Malware: This malicious software infiltrates computer systems through apps via email and social media.
How can I protect my business from malware attacks?
Protecting your business from the destruction of malware requires a multi-layered defense that includes several ongoing IT security actions such as:
- Security risk analysis
- Proactive intrusion prevention
- Anti-virus and anti-spyware installation
- Managed firewall
- Web filtering
- Spam filtering
- Company security policies and enforcement
A professional outsourced IT team can keep your business safe from today’s destructive malware. Contact Gulf South Technology Solutions today to discussion a plan of attack to keep your business safe from malware.