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What is Malware and How Can You Defend Against it?

Knowing what malware is and how to defend against it can help you prevent hackers from stealing your business’ valuable information. At Express Computers, we understand how important it is to protect your business against potentially harmful malware attacks. That is why we offer a wide range of data protection services, including security audits for determining the weakest points in your business’ IT security.

What is Malware?

Malware or malicious software is any piece of software that has been written with the intent of doing harm to data, devices, or people. Malware attacks today are almost completely automated and are designed to use search and destroy programs to find vulnerable computers to infect.

Common Types of Malware

Some of the most common types of malware include:

  • AdwareMalware that downloads or displays advertisements to the device user.
  • BackdoorMalware that installs a secret way into your device or network.
  • Bots and botnets—A device that was been infected by malware to do something harmful without the user’s knowledge. Botnets are groups of bots all focused on the same task.
  • Browser hijackerMalware that changes the behaviour of your web browser by installing unwanted plugins and directing you to sites you do not want to visit.
  • CrimewareMalware that is used to commit a crime that results in financial gain for the attacker.
  • KeyloggerMalware that records all of the keys the user touches in order to obtain passwords.
  • Phishing—A type of email attack that tricks users into giving up passwords, downloading attachments, or visiting malicious websites.
  • RAM scraperMalware that harvests data being stored in the system’s memory or RAM.
  • RansonwareMalware that locks systems to prevent work being done until the victim pays a ransom to the attacker.
  • Rogue security softwareMalware that tricks users into thinking they have a security problem, so that they will install fake security tools.
  • Spyware—Software that gathers information about the user without their permission.
  • TrojansMalware that pretends to be something else but really serves a malicious purpose.
  • VirusMalware that infects another program in an attempt to spread to other systems.

Proactively Defending Against Malware

One of the best protection strategies you can use to prevent malware attacks on your business is to make your site and network less vulnerable than others. By identifying and eliminating underlying vulnerabilities, you can make your network harder to attack, causing the attacker to move onto the next target. Consider making your machines less vulnerable by installing missing patches, changing vulnerable configurations, and tightening up web applications.

If you would like to learn more about what malware is and how you can defend against it, or if you are interested in one of our services (data protection, IT services, or software development), please contact Express Computers at 604-888-7904 or request a consultation online.