Knowing malware 101: Types of malware, preventing attacks & more!

Networked devices, assets and resources, are always vulnerable to cyberattacks. Malware is easily the most common cybersecurity threat, and malware attacks have impacted thousands of businesses around the world, across different industries. No matter whether you are deploying IP video surveillance systems, or unsuspecting employees are clicking a sudden popup, malware risks are inherent. In this post, we are talking of the common types of malware, how to prevent a malware attack, and some of the other aspects that matter.

Types of malware

  • Trojan Horse. Trojan horse, or Trojan, refers to malware code/software, which can infect, damage systems, or steal data from a network or device. Sometime trojan can look like a free music download, or even like an ad. 
  • Worms. Worms are designed to exploit the vulnerabilities of networks and operating systems. It works like a program and can infect other devices and systems, without additional action. 
  • Ransomware. This kind of malware aims at stealing or holding data captive, and in return, the hacker may ask for a ransom – hence the name. In most cases, the payment is made through bitcoins, so finding the hacker is not that easy. 
  • Spyware. True to the name, spyware aims at spying internet activities and other actions. Spyware often gets installed without the knowledge of the user, and the primary purpose is usually data harvesting. 
  • Adware. The last one our list is adware, which is often users find on many websites. Adware is used for promotions, or often to install other malware. 

How to prevent malware attacks?

  1. First and foremost, ensure that all software, firmware and other programs are updated to latest versions. 
  2. Get rid of apps, software, especially legacy software, which is not in use anymore. 
  3. Train your employees on social engineering and safe browsing practices. 
  4. Protect every device behind firewalls. 
  5. Install both antivirus and antimalware software programs on all devices. 
  6. Scan networks for finding security glitches. 
  7. Check and scan devices, including IP cameras. 
  8. Update all browsers and plugins.
  9. Use strong passwords and ask employees to use password managers
  10. Change all default usernames and passwords. 

Employees are on the frontline of preventing a cyberattack, and it is absolutely necessary that they are aware of malware issues and how to prevent possible attacks. If required, hire cybersecurity experts to train your employees and make them aware of their actions and related consequences. Malware often gets installed because of suspecting emails – Watch out for the red flags!