Malware

Small businesses are the top target of 43% of all cybercrimes. And the number continues to grow everyday.

As cybersecurity continues to grow and evolve, cybercriminals are also looking for new ways to circumvent security systems and exploit individuals, businesses, and government agencies. The damage a malware attack can cause to a business goes beyond financial losses. It can also compromise your customers’ data, leading to serious consequences for your reputation.

According to a report by security company McAfee, there was an average of 419 new threats per minute in 2020, as overall new malware samples increased by 11.5%. What does this mean? This indicates that businesses are at risk of falling victim to old and new threats every minute. Without a solid cybersecurity strategy, businesses remain vulnerable to malware at all times.

 

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What Is Malware?

First, let us define what malware is. According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre, malware is any “unauthorised software designed to cause harm.” It is the blanket term for malicious software, including ransomware, viruses, adware, spyware, trojans and worms.

Malware is designed to disrupt, deceive, and cause damage,all for the sake of profit. Some malware works by gaining access to the user’s important information, including bank or credit card details and passwords. Others can take control or spy on the user’s computer.


Malware is often used to perpetrate other attacks, such as:

  • Identity theft
  • Financial theft
  • Pranks
  • Activism
  • Espionage
  • Other cybercrimes


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Who Can Be Targeted by Malware?


Anyone.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re an individual, an organization, or a government agency. Everyone is vulnerable to malware attacks.

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Types of Malware

Malware has different forms depending on what it was designed to do. Here are the common types of malware that affect businesses in Australia and around the world:


Viruses

One of the most popular types of malware that requires a user to click or copy it to a device. Viruses are mostly self-replicating and they operate without the knowledge of the user.

Viruses
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Keyloggers

This malware logs a user’s keystrokes and sends the data to the attacker. This is usually done to steal information or to monitor another user’s activities.

Keyloggers
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Worms

Just like viruses, worms self-replicate and spread themselves via network connections, email attachments, and instant messages. However, they don’t need a host program in order to run, self-replicate, and propagate.

Worms
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Trojans

This malware is often disguised as legitimate software and designed to spy on the user, steal sensitive data, or gain backdoor access to your system.

Trojans
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Ransomware

Another popular type of malware that works by locking users out of their system until a ransom is paid.

Ransomware
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Adware & Spyware

Adware is designed to serve ads within the web browser while a spyware aims to gain access and damage your computer.

Adware & Spyware
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Rootkits

There are backdoor programs that allow an attacker to control and maintain command over a computer without the user knowing.

Rootkits
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How to Protect Your Business Against Malware

87% of small businesses think that their business is safe from malware just because they use antivirus software. But this alone is not enough. Here are some tips to keep malware at bay and protect your business.

  • Automatically update your operating system
  • Regularly update your software applications
  • Back up your business’ data
  • Secure your network and your data with strong and unique passwords
  • Train your employees regarding your cybersecurity strategy



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“This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources through the Cyber Security Business Connect and Protect Program.”