What is malware and how can I protect my business?

GCCBLOG-140219There are plenty of terms bandied about by IT professionals and the media, which it seems that you are expected to know, but sometimes even the most common can be misunderstood. The problem is that risks can be underestimated if this is the case. A perfect example of this is how malware, such as a Trojan Virus, is often mistaken for something else.

By knowing what malware is, you can take basic and effective protection steps. Ransomware, Trojans, and spyware can all be installed on your systems, and it is up to you to take actions that can prevent this from happening.

 

What does malware mean?

 

Malware is a word derived from malicious and software and it encompasses anything of harm to a computer and/or its user. It can come in many forms, with various purposes as its aim. Stealing data and information is common for attacks on business, as is the threat of destroying data. There can even be physical threats to people, in extreme cases, too.

Being a small business doesn't mean that hackers and malicious coders will find you of no interest - self-employed people are often popular targets. As increasing numbers of larger companies take extra efforts to protect themselves, hackers and attackers are widening their targets. Today, no one is safe unless they take actions of their own.

 

Infection

 

As with a cold or flu virus that attacks your body, a computer virus infiltrates digital systems and tries to bypass defences. Making sure that your software is up to date and is running all the latest security patches are key steps in guarding against malware. Creating a security-conscious culture for your business is also important because many successful attacks are often due to human error or laxity in maintaining the right level of risk awareness.

Anything, from opening an attachment on a USB drive to clicking on a link in an email, can pose a threat, and once your machines or systems are infected, it can be difficult to rectify the situation without loss of data or worse.

 

Positive action

 

All employees at your company should know to not download files from untrusted and unknown sources and also how to spot suspicious signs of harmful emails such as spelling and grammar errors and addresses containing full stops.

Educating yourself, and any staff you may have, to also make regular backups, change passwords, and use encryption and multilevel authentication processes, will help in safeguarding your business. Despite this though, a dedicated and professional attacker could still find vulnerabilities to exploit.

The only way to be sure that you are fully aware of the many different forms of malware, and how you can protect your business to the highest level, is to take specialist advice. At GCC, we can give you all the information you need, and help you to take any steps necessary to ensure that you are as safe as you can be from malware attacks. Read more on our Cyber Security Awareness webpage now.