Businesses all of kinds are in a constant battle against malware in its many forms. In cybersecurity, one of the top priorities is developing the mechanisms and strategies to keep this threat at bay and effectively protect organizations from suffering damage.
But today it continues to be unclear for many managers and owners how malware could affect their businesses. Misunderstanding the threat can be the perfect recipe for serious problems to arise.
In the following lines, we will address the basics of malware and how it can impact your business at any moment if the right measures aren’t being taken by your IT team.
Understanding Malware and Its Presentations
Malware is malicious computer software developed and distributed to gain illicit access to third-party hardware without proper consent or permission. The goals of malware attacks and infections are breaching security systems in place, stealing sensitive information about individuals and organizations, and causing irreparable damage to both hardware and software.
Anti-malware software operates to stop malware from infecting systems and keep data secure. However, malicious parties are quite creative in terms of how they distribute malware and penetrate infrastructure that may count on defective or ineffective cybersecurity solutions.
As mentioned, malware comes in many presentations and it’s key for organizations to know at least the basics about it as “malware” as a concept can be too broad. The main types are:
- Viruses: As the name suggests, this type of malware has a virulent, self-replicating nature, driving the malicious software to distribute efficiently and spread over entire systems.
- Worms: Malware of this kind will operate in an autonomous fashion to penetrate systems slowly yet effectively.
- Action-oriented: Like the well-known trojan software, action-oriented malware depends on the victim to take certain actions that will open a door and grant full access by using deception.
- Malicious downloads: A very common type these days, malicious downloads consists in a main piece of software that the victim needs or wants, so he installs it considering its use as safe. After that point, once the software is installed, it connects to another source that will inject harmful code discretely.
Malicious parties know how to pick their fights. Malware infections are more common in cases when vulnerabilities existed prior to the attack. As obvious as it may seem, infrastructures are more prone to suffer from malware infections when they are weak in terms of cybersecurity.
Hardware operating without proper anti-malware software is going to be an easy target (and the usual victim) of malware infections. With no security mechanisms in place, malicious software will find no resistance in accessing private systems and stealing data.
But there is no software that can protect us from ourselves. Successful malware attacks (too) often rely on human mistakes. Luring users to visit infected websites or downloading malicious files is one of the preferred ways to get the job done. Therefore, cybercriminals design attacks to aim unsuspecting victims.
Finally, we must mention e-commerce platforms not only as a sensitive target but as favorites for the malicious parties to attack. These websites have many moving parts that may constantly create vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malware. Also, lots of sensitive data are being transmitted from one point to another, such as credit card information from the clients.