In the past, life was so much simpler when it came to protecting your computers from viruses. However, with the introduction of the internet and an increasing number of greedy people in the world today, hacking has now become a profession for many individuals. Automated tools make hacking businesses easier than ever before as cyber-attacks are impacting companies each day.
Being aware of the different ways you could be targeted is the first step to defending your systems. Keep reading to learn about the nine most terrifying kinds of malware to prepare for.
Today’s malware doesn’t just include viruses, which is why companies need to look at protecting themselves with a stronger solution than just antivirus software. Viruses can attack your system by infecting, reformatting or deleting files, often leaving your computers very difficult to clean up. Viruses quickly take over your network after replicating themselves, making it impossible to complete even your basic daily tasks.
Since the 1990s, worms have been taking down networks after a single person opens an infected email. Cleaning up after worms can be almost impossible. There are many cases where companies find that they have to delete or quarantine files that are affected. The worst-case scenario even involves rebuilding your computers from scratch as worms replicate themselves and exploit other software. One of the worst examples of this type of attack was the ‘iloveyou’ worm, which affected 50 million Windows machines in 10 days.
Trojans have replaced worms in recent years and are now one of the most popular hacking tools. Trojans take advantage of a lack of security knowledge and will usually arrive in an email attachment. This is one of the most challenging types of malware to defend your network from as they are easy to write and can look incredibly authentic. Make sure you educate your team on the importance of not opening emails if they don’t recognise the sender.
4. Malware Hybrids
A malware hybrid takes any two of the three options we’ve listed above and combines them to create malware with unique attributes. For example, the malware might appear to be a trojan but have the power of a worm. These attacks can be very hard to clean up after, causing havoc for businesses that fall victim to this type of malware.
If you talk to an IT professional today, they’ll most likely tell you that ransomware is their top concern when it comes to malware as businesses of all shapes and sizes are the target of it. This type of malware encrypts your data and holds it hostage, so you might lose your customer records, emails, files and anything else you store on your network. You’ll then be asked to pay thousands of pounds in cash or cryptocurrency to retrieve your data. Ransomware is usually triggered by opening an attachment or landing on an unsecured site. To avoid devastation from a ransomware attack, make sure you…
- Back your files up regularly
- Train your team to spot the signs of an attack
- Do not open any suspicious emails
6. Files Malware
Files malware isn’t necessarily considered to be a different category, but it still poses a huge threat to businesses today. About 50% of malware attacks are delivered in this way, although that figure is only continuing to increase. Traditional malware relies on files to infect your network, but files malware relies on memory or parts of computer systems without files. For this reason, it’s much harder to both detect and control this type of attack.
Another challenging type of malware to both detect and stop is adware. While it’s not necessarily as dangerous to your system as other options on our list, you’ll find that it can slow down your computers or make you vulnerable to other attacks. If you discover that anything has been installed on your computer without your permission, ensure that it is dealt with immediately to avoid further issues.
You can probably guess that malvertising is a combination of malware and advertising. This type of malware is hidden by advertising, but it shouldn’t be confused with adware. Malvertising takes place when a criminal pays for an advertisement on a real website. However, when you click through on this advert, it will redirect you to a malicious site. Alternatively, malware might be installed straight to your device. What’s even more worrying about malvertising is that even genuine adverts can be attacked in this manner and you might not even have to click through to experience the issue. In this case, it would be referred to as a drive-by download attack, which is almost impossible to notice and avoid.
The final terrifying type of malware you should be aware of is spyware. As the name suggests, this type of malware is used to spy on you. Spyware will monitor the sites you visit and anything you type, learning about any activity you perform on your device. Used to find login information and passwords, companies risk losing valuable and confidential information. Spyware is activated in the following ways:
- Pop-ups or notifications
- Downloading media from unreliable sources
The impact that malware can have on businesses can range from delays to your working processes all the way to bankruptcy. By making yourself more aware of the risks that your business faces every day, you’ll decrease your chances of becoming the victim of an attack. Within your organisation, you’ll want to create a culture where cyber security is taken seriously and your employees are educated on these risks.
Working with an IT support partner can offer you software, training and procedures to help protect your business. Make sure you can defend your business before an attack instead of leaving your company with the difficult task of cleaning up afterwards. An IT partner will take the hard work out of your hands and offer you the solution you need to look after your business for many years to come.
Click the link below if you’d like to book a free demo to discuss how iceConnect can protect your business from all online threats.