Malware Attacks: 5 Practices to Protect Businesses From Them

Do you use computers or any technology to conduct business? If you are, prioritizing cybersecurity is of paramount importance.

Hackers or cybercriminals are lurking around just waiting for the right time to attack vulnerable computers and software applications. Not focusing on the safety of your systems can put your business at high risk for data breaches with costly consequences. According to recent IBM Security research, the average cost of a data breach is $4.24 million.

One of the main tools criminals use in attacks is malware. It’s malicious software that can inconspicuously make its way into your network and steal data or money from your business. You might think that your company is too small to fall victim to such attacks. But regardless of size, your organization can be an attractive target to cybercriminals, especially if you don’t have proper security measures.

Read on to learn more about these malware attacks and the five practices you can do to protect your business against them.

Common Types of Malware Attacks

Malware is often attached to emails or integrated into illegitimate links as malicious software. It can also be covered up in advertisements or disguised on various sites. One wrong click on any of these links can cause the malware to install, run its program, and infect your computer. Without you realizing it, passwords, financial information, or your company’s sensitive information are already stolen.

Generally, a slow computer, excessive pop-ups, very slow startup, inexplicable crashes, and random rebooting are some warning signs of malware attacks. However, they can come in different forms and may threaten your computer system to varying degrees.

Here are several of the most well-known forms of malware attacks you should watch out for:

  • Viruses: A virus computer is the oldest form of malware attack. It needs to be executed by a user action or attached to another program to infect your system. This usually happens through email, website downloads, instant messaging, or removable media like USB.
  • Ransomware: This is the most prominent malware threat to an organization. It restricts you from gaining access to your computer system using encryption. Attackers will hold your data captive and threaten to delete or expose it unless you pay a ransom.
  • Worm: This is one of the most dangerous types of malware. It can spread itself to other devices or systems. But unlike viruses, a worm doesn’t require to be attached to a program or run by a user.

5 Practices to Protect Your Business Against Malware Attacks

While there’s no way to spare your business from malware attacks completely, you can take several steps to mitigate the risks and protect your company against catastrophic damages. Consider the following practices:

1. Develop a Comprehensive Security Policy

Clicking the wrong link or sharing confidential information accidentally may cost your business. That’s why developing a comprehensive security policy is important.

This policy will become a road map for your employees. It will guide them on what to do, when, and who has access to your system and specific information. Without this, your employees won’t know and comply with essential standards.

2. Constantly Update Your Business Assets

Hackers are always searching for unpatched holes in your computer systems. They usually gain access through an outdated program.

If your systems are not up-to-date, new vulnerabilities can show up and remain undetected. So constantly update your business assets, from your computers to all software applications. Make it a business practice to validate and install new software patches.

3. Invest in Multiple Layers of Security

No security tool is completely safe against malware or any cybersecurity threats. However, using multiple defenses can thwart or limit the damage of a potential security breach. They would be able to compensate for the weakness of one software application or security tool. If possible, invest in multiple layers of security, such as firewalls, virtual private networks, malware detection, and more.

4. Conduct Security Awareness Training

Employees can be your best defense against malware infection. Simultaneously, they can also be the reason why a particular attack happens.

Educating and training them are among the best investments you can make. By conducting security awareness training, employees would know what’s considered unsafe behavior and make better decisions to ensure cybersecurity.

5. Always Have a Backup and Recovery Plan

Preparing for a potential malware attack is the best protection you can give to your business. This can include backing up your data and ensuring that it’s protected against any encryption from attackers.

Despite all these protections, consider the worst-case scenario. What will your business do when attacks happen? Always have a backup and recovery plan in place so everyone will know how to proceed afterward.

Make Cybersecurity a Priority

Several cybersecurity threats can attack your business anytime, and no protection is perfect. However having a comprehensive security policy and well-designed security tools can help protect your customers, employees, and company data against such risks.

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