Businesses today thrive not solely because they have the financial capabilities to stay afloat. A lot goes behind that keeps them in business, and one of them is safe-keeping records. Today, many businesses ignore the importance of keeping their data safe, thereby losing it in the long run. They are left with questions on how to retrieve them by all means (only if that’s possible given the circumstances), what then happens if you lose your business data, think about the consequences. That is why it is often advisable to make use of cloud computing to reduce the risk of losing business information and data breaches.
As the target for breaches keep going on the rise in recent times, there has also been a corresponding rise and response from B2B cybersecurity service providers. This has resulted in a revenue increase in the cybersecurity industry as years roll by. By 2025, there is an estimated revenue of over 7 billion U.S dollars.
Malware doesn’t only pose a threat to businesses; it poses a lot more danger to the system at large, costing more than the whole system. In most cases, it is a total shutdown of the business, especially if the data cannot be retrieved.
What is malware?
It can be defined as any software designed to steal, destroy and damage computers or a set of computer systems. Malware can also be a term used to denote different malicious software, and they may appear in the form of a virus, trojan horse, ransomware, and adware.
To keep your business continuity, it is also essential to take the necessary precautions about confidentiality to avoid cyber attacks. Most malware is specially created in code by cyber hackers to cause damage, filtrate data, or gain unauthorized access to a network of data systems or networks.
What does malware do?
The primary function of malware is to infect, cause harm, damage devices, network of data, or target a user.
There are different types of malware, and they tend to work depending on their form or classes, some damage devices, present themselves to the user, or export data.
Some malware appears harmless at first but ends up being disastrous. This malware is all created to gain unauthorized access, causing unsuspecting user problems, all to the advantage of the designer or hacker.
Types of Malware
There are many types of malware, but the common types are;
It is the most common type of malware, it replicates itself and spreads itself through other programs or files, as a result of this infecting them, and most times, computer viruses are not created by hackers. It infects all files and programs on the computer device.
• Trojan horse
Trojan horses are designed to gain access to a device, they appear harmless, but installation starts to execute their malicious functions. They attach to devices through disguised email, infected websites that allow them to gain root in your device. It appears harmless to the user but later takes root and infects the machine.
Spyware is a type of malware designed to collect data from a device. It can be used to collect passwords or personal information without the user’s consent, and people use it most times to check the activities of their loved ones. They are easily detected and removed.
Hackers designed it to encrypt a specific device user data, demanding payment to decrypt the system’s data. Cybercriminals commonly use this malware to extort big companies,
This malware tracks a user’s history on the internet, after which they display ads according to the user search history. It searches through your browsing history and shows related ads to trick unsuspecting users.
This is often referred to as malicious advertising. What you see is an advert, but in essence, it is a malicious advertisement used to infect a device. This has to do with some codes appearing as ads which compromise the whole system.
• Fileless Malware
This is also malicious software that uses malware uses legal programs to infect the device. This is often a harder nut to crack in that it leaves no traces for any form of detection or removal. Although, this means that they aren’t easily detected by antiviruses and other conventional methods, including whitelisting.
This is a standalone malicious program that replicates itself and damages a computer system within a computer network. It serves as a penetrator in any security breach, making it easier to access, scan, and infest the system.
As much as they are used in corporations for specific internal functions and troubleshooting technical problems, there is more to it. Keyloggers could monitor the user’s activities and export information mainly to collect users’ passwords and credentials. As spyware, it studies the keystrokes you enter on the device you’re using.
Other types of malware include:
• Malware Bots
• Back door
• Mobile apps with malicious software
How malware infects a device
Malware can be spread through different means by hackers, and they may employ a physical or virtual method to spread the infection. Malicious software can be spread physically through the use of Universal Serial Bus (USB drive), can also be spread virtually through ads, drive-by downloads, which downloads automatically without user consent via the internet.
Some malware can be disguised and sent through emails that contain attachments or file with malicious software which cause harm to the device or users.
Some complicated malware is also designed with a command to control server feature, which grants the hacker access to remotely control, communicate and export data without the consent or approval of the user.
Malware shows some signs that a user can detect easily. Examples of these signs are when some unusual characteristics or features suddenly manifest in your device, like; loss of data, hanging of device, unwanted advertisement, slow processing, and unnecessary activity. You discover that something isn’t right.
To avoid malware from destroying or gaining entry to your device, you must have some defenses that detect any breach of your data.
How To Prevent Your Computer From Malware
- Have A Trusted Anti-Virus Installed On Your Device
Antivirus or malware detection software goes a long way in preventing your computers from malware, which most people tend to ignore, but it saves your computer device a lot.
There are different types of antivirus, and research shows that some tend to be effective while some may cause damage to a computer device; not all antivirus can be 100% trusted.
Some examples of Antivirus software are; Norton, Comodo, Kaspersky, Avast, and AVG; some of these listed antiviruses are free, but the paid ones tend to be more effective with scanning and detection of malware than the free Anti Virus.
The free Antivirus software is sometimes created by Cybercriminals, containing unwanted programs and acting as spyware after installation.
- Update Your Anti-Virus Software Regularly
After a certain period, Anti Virus becomes outdated and needs to be refreshed or updated regularly. If your Anti Virus is not regularly updated, it may be breached or become infected by malware.
- Scan Your Computer Regularly With Anti-Virus Software
After installing your Anti Virus, do not forget to always perform a regular or routine scan on your computer device, preferably twice a week.
And note that during the scanning process, your computer must not shut down, sleep or hibernate.
- Update Your Operating System Regularly
Malware has a higher chance of infecting outdated Operating systems, Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.
Updated Operating System has a new inbuilt security patch that detects any breach in security leaks and prevents any vulnerabilities.
These patches work similarly to antivirus software, and these patches are improved from time to time by the operating system providers. Using an outdated OS puts your device at risk. Routine updating of your OS, secure your computer from malware.
- Avoid Infected Websites
Always be on the lookout for strange things; they are easily identifiable. When you check a website that isn’t right, asking for your personal information, which you wouldn’t ordinarily give out, then you know it’s time to close the tab.
Other precautions you should take note of:
- Cybercriminals mostly use the internet to infect your computer device. They search through your browsing history and bring related ads in the form of pop-up advertisements.
- Sometimes malware can be disguised and sent as mail and, when installed on your systems, allows the cybercriminal to control your computer device remotely.
- Avoid infected sites or websites, do not click any on any email file or attachment from an unknown source—download files or materials from trusted websites.
- Avoid clicking ads on social media or websites that present themselves to help you scan your phone, and they become rooted in your phone after scanning.
There is a possibility that the website you’re visiting has no sign of traceable contact information, or it’s developed weirdly. However, if these websites have a number, you could place a call across to them to confirm what you’re getting yourself into.
Checking the URL of the website you’re visiting is as good as protecting your data from breaches. Do you know some phishers create a website like what we generally know but is spelled slightly differently? The purpose for doing this is to gain unauthorized access to your privacy after making you believe it’s the actual one since you didn’t check the URL correctly. This means that as you visit websites randomly, it is best always to remember that there might be a fraudulent version of the actual site you want to visit.
Making your data and privacy secure is one essential thing every business must hold so firm. However, some businesses match the cost of purchasing what could save them with the risk involved. Although it’s always good as a financial practice to cut administrative costs, in no circumstance should a business that wants to have a going concern risk its data. So, put these preventive measures into practice, and your high risk of losing your delicate business information would be reduced to a reasonable extent.
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