what is malware

      What Is Malware?

      Protecting your business from malware threats is a key step in safeguarding your IT systems. We outline the types of malware to highlight why organisations should consider more advanced IT security solutions.

      What is malware?

      Malware is a broad term for what used to be called “computer viruses”. At its most basic level, malware is a computer program or piece of code designed to gain unauthorised access to your IT systems. They can have many different goals, whether it be harvesting customer or business data, crashing computer equipment, or using your machine to infect others. Whatever its purpose, malware is an unwanted software intruder.

      Common types of malware threats

      The starting point for protecting your organisation is understanding what malware threats exist. Here are some of the most common types to be aware of:

      • Viruses – Malicious software designed for a range of purposes, such as slowing down your PC or replicating data to other machines.
      • Worms – Pieces of code designed to spread copies of tnemselves. It doesn’t necessarily require a click or download to do this; it will look for holes in your network security. A worm can modify or delete files, inject malicious code into your systems, or significantly reduce performance and speed
      • Trojans – A virus disguised as a legitimate program, intended to dupe a user into willingly install it into their system, usually to allow someone access to systems or to take control. Trojans more commonly are delivered as downloads but can be hidden as macros embedded in programs such as Microsoft Word.
      • Adware/Spyware – Intended to display constant advert pop-ups and keep a log of a user’s browsing activity, keystrokes or to access their webcam.
      • Ransomware – Software designed to lock or delete the contents of a system, server or computer. Hackers then extort a ransom from the user in exchange for unlocking or providing a copy of data. Potentially devastating and rising in prevalence.

      anti-malware threats

      The CryptoLocker ransomware attack.

      How do you protect yourself?

      The most important thing that can help keep you safe against malware threats is education. Making sure employees aware of threats – and how to spot them – are important steps to keeping your organisation safe.

      In addition, working with a cybersecurity specialist such as Akita can ensure you get the right measures in place for your risk profile. This may start with solutions such as anti-malware and antivirus software but may also extend to installing firewalls to negate malware threats, as well as backing up your business data.

      To discuss anti-malware solutions and wider IT security solutions, please get in touch:

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