Malware and How You Can Prevent It

Current statistics indicate that up to 30% of all households are infected with some form of malware. Viruses and Trojans are the most common of these threats. The startling fact is that last year alone, more than 317 million new pieces of malware were created and released onto the internet. That translates to just under one million new threats being introduced each day.  Understanding what these intrusions are, and how they can affect you, is vitally important to anyone who is active on the Internet.  Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which your security could become compromised.

 

            Malware –Malware is loosely defined as any software designed to maliciously affect any computer or computer based systems. More of an umbrella term  than any one specific threat, malware comes in many shapes and sizes and wreak havoc on any improperly protected systems. A few well known classes of malware are as follow:

  • Virus – A virus is a specific form of malware that once inside your machine is capable of replicating itself and spreading from host to host. Typically a virus needs a host program to replicate itself and spread.
  • Trojan – A type of malware that disguises itself as a normal file or program in an attempt to trick you into opening or installing it. This is also used as a blanket term as a means of delivery, not necessarily any one specific type of malware.
  • Monitoring Tool (A.KA. SpyWare)Malware that tracks and monitors specific user behavior and reports back to a remote server without being detected by the user. These can be in the form of key stroke loggers to monitor email/password combinations, online account authentication, payment information, websites frequently visited, and a whole host of other potentially very private information.
  • Backdoor – A type of malicious software designed to remotely access or control a computer without being detected by users or security programs. These can effectively turn your machine into a zombie that will do things behind the scenes and without your permission like, sending out spam emails, being used to in a “DDOS” or “Distributed-Denial-of-Service” attack on a company or government website, or any number of other “BotNet” actions.

According to Verizon; when a hacker releases a wave of malware laden spam, on average it takes only 82 seconds for the first instance of infection to occur.  Cyber criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated at hiding malware inside of software updates and simply allowing companies to infect themselves. Digital extortion is where hackers steal or encrypt  files or whole directories from a victims computer or network resources and these types of attacks are on the rise. They have increased an astounding 113% in the last year alone. Often the hackers demand ransom payments in the form of untraceable online currency called Bitcoin. These can be very difficult and costly to obtain. After all of that there is no guarantee of getting your data back and no assurances against future attacks.

 

As daunting as these statistics may be, there are steps you can take both personally, and as an operator within your organization. The best way to prevent these types of attacks is to have a comprehensive and proactive approach to securing your mission critical systems.

Etopia Technologies Inc. has been providing our customers with the latest tools and technologies to prevent Malware attacks and intrusions for over a decade.  Our highly skilled staff is trained in Malware detection, defense,  and mitigation. Using a variety of products to assess and analyze system vulnerabilities, we help to protect from attacks and maintain strict security policies to prevent attacks from occurring. In the event of a successful attack, we can provide immediate support and engineer a solution to help limit the amount of loss and maximize the speed at which you can get back up and running at 100% efficiency. Keeping your down time to a minimum is very important to us.

We offer a free consultation and will design a solution for you or your organization based on your specific needs.  Our client base is diverse and includes a wide range of users from individuals with basic home computers all the way up to medium size enterprise clients with 50+ users in a domain environment. We can help with everything from computer repair to full business solutions. Please feel free to contact us today and see how we can put all of our years of experience and passion to work creating a unique plan for your personal or business computing needs.
Jason Herbstman
Microsoft Certified Professional
Network Security Engineer

 

by Jason Herbstman

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