Trippy-looking photo of a guy sitting a computer potentially doing some hacking.

Malware: What is it and how to protect yourself from it

Malicious software is most often translated as “malware.” With the increase of cyber-attacks, it is crucial to remain ahead of the curve on what you can do to stay protected. Malware attacks occur as software which has been developed by hackers with an intent to do harm to a network or a device.

Malware’s History and Forms in Cyber Attacks

Malware has a history starting in the 1980s with attacks on computers in the form of viruses. However, true malware saw formation around the start-up of heavy internet usage in the 90s. Malware, as a malicious software, was first placed upon floppy and CD-Rom discs. Later, as email became prevalent, malware was easier to spread by hackers through the use of attachments. This type of attack, when opened, can delete a little or all of a personal or network computer data, as well as corrupting entire hard drives.  Other attacks of malware can be annoyances, such as constant annoying music emitting from the computer, or the delivery of messages that are no more than nuisances.

A trojan horse is a malware attack that disguises itself as legitimate software or programs and then once the trojan is installed or downloaded, it has powerful capabilities to access and garner everything on your computer and then secretly send it to the hackers. Your passwords, keystrokes, screenshots, mobile banking information, logins, system information and more are all transmitted. At times, a trojan malware can even disable anti-malware protection and modify data on your device. The name comes from the same Trojan Horse that was delivered to the city of Troy in an attack by the Greeks.

Other forms of malware include spyware, wiper malware, a computer worm, adware, botnet ransomware, and cryptocurrency miner malware to name a few.

How to Protect Your Device from Malicious Software Attacks

As our world continues to be increasingly connected, malware attacks also rise in form and frequency. By ensuring that software and operating systems installed on your computer are up-to-date and patched as quickly as possible when a new release or update happens is one of the simplest ways to protect users from malware and other cyber-attacks. Failing to do so is the most common way that malware is used, as hackers can break into a system when there is a patch needed.

Another protective measure is to install cybersecurity software. This keeps many attacks at bay, and most vendors of the software will update their programs on a reoccurring basis in order to provide complete protection. Another simple way to ensure that your network or device is protected is to be wary of suspicious emails, opening attachments from unknown senders, and clicking on links that seem odd. Educating your staff, self, and family can be one of the most effective barriers to preventing cyberattacks and malware from ruining your computer or device. With our personal data being ever more linked, it is crucial that individuals and companies remain wise to the possibility of malware attacks.

Cybersecurity, Updates, and Education to Prevent Malware Attacks

Proactive network monitoring and secure cloud networks work hand-in-hand to connect the fiber of your company, securely. Cloud-based networking offers your company consistent improvements to performances while increasing downtime in the office. You can get more work done and remain productive, knowing your network is running smoothly. Proactive network monitoring is provided through a group of network engineers using the latest automation tools to identify and fix security and enhance performance issues way before you notice a problem. These measures ensure your cybersecurity and updates are routine and constantly monitored. Imagine if you could eliminate the hassle and worry of trying to keep up with the latest malware threats and instead you could focus on what your business was intended to do for your clients.

Elemental Technology Solutions Assesses and Protects Technology

In a world where cyber-attacks can shut entire governmental operations down in a second, it is crucial that business owners have the proper security measures in place. Our IT services are scalable to meet your organization’s needs – managing it all or providing education or consultation. We want to partner with you to provide a sense of ease knowing your security is in good hands. Email us today for more information or to get started.