Malware has been an ongoing threat for many years but there seems to have been a marked increase in the sophistication and lethality of these programs in recent times. Although many people think that they are protected because of their antivirus software, this does not provide total security. It is only by recognising the different types of malware out there, that businesses can make informed choices about their security infrastructure.
Malware is an umbrella term that encompasses so many different forms of software with different functions. General viruses tend to have the sole aim of infiltrating and reproducing so they can be passed onto other systems. Other malicious software can have much more insidious aims including surveillance, theft and damage. Spyware is a prominent subset of malware that actively steals personal information including bank details which can then be used or sold on by the hacker.
New variations of these intrusive programs are being discovered all the time with a recent example being magic malware. This new strain has remained undetected within many machines for at least 11 months and its end goal is still unknown. Experts have examined the code involved and expect that Magic Malware will probably be used to steal personal data but nothing is certain. This is especially worrying considering many high profile systems have already been infected including those in education and finance. Another online danger that is becoming more prevalent are Advance Persistent Threats (APT), a good example being Anonymous. APTs are groups that are politically or financially motivated to target specific online servers and disrupt or damage their websites.
The best way to guard against the tirade of online threats is to employ a comprehensive approach to security and use many different protective measures. Don’t just rely on an antivirus suite but conduct anti-malware scans regularly using different programs. You should also install a powerful and trusted firewall to block incoming threats as and when they attack. All of these tips will only help as long as your software is completely up to date as malware evolves and therefore the protective measures need to as well.
Those who are worried about the threats posed by malware should consider ITC Global Security as they provide managed security services to fully protect your business.