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We constantly see news of companies or services attacked by malware that leaves heavy losses in the business. It indicates that, with the appearance of the pandemic, there was also an increase in malware attacks.

These attacks increased as part of the business operations shifted from local to the cloud. In many cases, small and medium-sized companies, which did not invest in cybersecurity, were affected by these malware attacks.

The consequences are pervasive and can cause a company or institution with an unsound backup to collapse and shut down its operations.

That is why knowing everything related to the subject should be a priority for your company and, thus, make the most suitable decisions adapted to your business.

What is malware?

The term malware comes from the composition of the words "malicious" (malicious, evil) and "software" (program or application).

So, according to Malwarebytes, malware is any malicious program or code that is harmful to the computer systems of a person, company, or organization.
Generally, the malware tries to obtain some economic benefit from its attack in favor of the authors of the attack; but it can have other damage objectives in its operation.
The development code of malware has been so sophisticated that it has penetrated particular devices.

Some of these computer viruses are extremely dangerous because they can manipulate equipment with artificial intelligence (AI) or switches that control vital services in some business processes.

Characteristics of malware

Because malware is so changeable and its propagation so varied, it is not easy to determine the characteristics of a specific attack or infection.
Among some of the characteristics of malware, it can be randomly highlighted that they are:

• Polymorphic: they have multiple ways of representing themselves according to their programming code, making them difficult to track.
• Resident or non-resident: Depending on how the virus code is executed, if the malware is activated when the file that carries it is open, it is non-resident. Otherwise, malware that is constantly active is considered a resident.
• Stealthy: some malware attaches itself to specific files on the computer, which allows it to hide and multiply more quickly.
• They work together with other malware: Some of these viruses work as a team to enhance their attack.
• Silent: they can hide the changes they make to the device while completing a task or objective, where the system will not show signs of infection until its security is compromised.
• Resistant to formatting: they can remain dormant on the hard disk even after the device has been formatted. It is achieved by moving part of its code to other memory areas, such as the computer's CMOS.
• Chameleon: they usually simulate commercial programs to create trust in the user and to be able to infect computers when executed.
• Retroviruses: have the characteristic of overriding antivirus systems, leaving the computer vulnerable to other malware attacks.
• Mutable: they can alter their code to evade antivirus software scans.

How do I know if my computer is infected with malware?

Among the most common details that can be noticed when a computer or device is infected by malware, the following can be highlighted:

• Pop-up web pages with advertising or offers that may be eye-catching.
• Unexplained slowness of your computer equipment.
• Unintentional random activity on the device without your consent or action.
• Unexpected computer resets.
• She blocked actions or functions such as deleting a file, activating virus diagnostics, etc.
• Any program or application that appears to be installed without prior notice.
• Mails sent or messages sent automatically with unauthorized content.
• Failure of any program or file without justification.
• Modification of file names.
• Activation of microphone or camera without prior notice.

As you can see, the characteristics of a technological device that may be infected by malware are multiple. Still, they can be better defined if the program that affected it is known.

Types of malware

In this section, paperhelp (https://www.paperhelp.org/) will focus on classifying the different malware since the specific types that exist are very varied and changing, and new threats appear every day.

Oracle defines an easy to understand the classification of malware as follows:

Spyware

These are programs designed to probe users' browsing preferences. It does not spread like a regular virus but tends to download and install a specific code hidden in some program or file downloaded by the user. Its function is to locate the user's security information such as passwords, emails, and bank details.

Ransomware

It is a particular malware responsible for affecting devices or equipment, blocking operations, or encrypting files or programs to prevent their standard process. This malware requests a monetary ransom to return control of the equipment, which is usually in cryptocurrencies.

In this case, we can mention what happened recently to the oil company Colonial Pipeline. A ransom of 75 bitcoins, equivalent to more than 4 million dollars, was paid to free its operations from a Ransomware attack. And a month after the event, they have been able to trace and recover a little more than half of what the company paid to the cybercriminals.

You may be interested in reading: Ransomware Landscape: everything you need to know.

Rootkit

This malware installs some programs that allow remote access to specific devices and hack information. This virus can hide in the operating system and disable antivirus alerts or other security systems to avoid detection.

Virus

It is a simple malware that acts as the principle of its name, infecting the host and multiplying until it collapses its host. In turn, it is transmitted to other connected and vulnerable computers in the environment. They are easy to detect and eliminate but very contagious in unprotected networks.

Worms

This malware reproduces and spreads in the same way as a virus. However, a worm does not require a program or host to propagate; it spread on networks without the help of a program or hacker.

Trojan Horse or Trojan

It is malware that pretends to be a trusted program or file so that users can download and install it voluntarily. This file downloads programming code itself, which allows a hacker to steal the user's financial and personal information.

Types of devices attacked by malware

In this regard, it is essential to mention that no device with digital components connected to a network or the internet will be free from a possible attack immediately or shortly.
Analog devices are the only equipment that can not be vulnerable to cybercriminals or, failing that, that digital equipment is isolated from any connection to other devices or media such as the internet.

In this sense, malware can be present in your company without you realizing it, either in computer equipment, in a router or switch, or even in a wireless surveillance camera that you have connected to your network or the internet.

Depending on the company's operations, some cybercriminals may target certain services or computers.

For Malwarebytes, the computers that may be less vulnerable to attack are those whose software structure is based on open source (Linux type) or Apple devices. But it should be clear that this does not imply that these computers are shielded against malware.

Depending on the use, operation, and organization where they are located, they will have the same vulnerability to be attacked by malware at any given time.
In mobile devices, vulnerability has been amplified by increasing their use in interactions with applications that may have dubious origins whose sole purpose is to obtain personal information and financial data.

In mobile devices, there are fewer complaints because they do not represent business interests for the most part.

EDR Cloud and malware prevention

If your company is looking for the best option to protect the business and its operations, the most potent and suitable solution may be an EDR Cloud service.

All computer equipment in the organization may have a commercial antivirus installed and running, but that does not mean that the company will be protected against an attack.
At the moment of an attack in your organization, each computer in isolation will search its environment, increasing the use of bandwidth, as well as the servers will activate their alarms to try to stop the malware, leaving priority business operations in the background.

The EDR Cloud service proactively filters with Artificial Intelligence (AI) all information entering and leaving the company through a single communication channel, where malware search engine updates are done centrally.

EDR Cloud allows applying additional services such as SandBoxing to test files with specific vulnerability potential before dispatching them to their destination.
Among the critical aspects is the centralized management of statistics. The administrator can see the vulnerabilities, origins, and destinations of the same in real-time and make better decisions on the actions to follow.

It will depend on the type of business, the number of specialized IT personnel it has, and the right decision. But imminently, you must have the most powerful solution, such as EDR Cloud, at the time of a malware attack.

Cloud services such as EDR Cloud represent an effective and more profitable solution than the local investment of assets since they require less physical space operationally and costs can be amortized operationally.

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