How does malware work?
Malware can hide inside innocuous-looking software (trojans) or spread between machines without relying on user interaction (worms). It can be custom-designed to evade defences and execute specific tasks.
Once inadvertently installed, malware can carry out many activities unseen. It may spy on website visits, destroy data or piece together passwords. Increasingly, it’s being used by criminals to encrypt important business information until the organisation pays a ‘ransom’. This form of malware is known as ‘ransomware’. Internet banking users may also be redirected to fake sites which record their login data to enable financial theft.
Malware is usually delivered via email ‘phishing’ or fraudulent links. Malicious apps and USB memory sticks can also compromise smartphones and computers respectively. Malware can stay hidden for months until activated.
How to defend your business against malware?
The risks of malware can include hardware damage, significant data and financial loss and paralysis of business activity. Here are some ways you can protect yourself:
- put in place strong response, recovery and back-up processes
- run up-to-date anti-virus software on all machines
- consider systems that use file reputation / behaviour analysis within a safe sandbox system
- explore the use of network behaviour anomaly detection (alert to attacker commands) as another systems security option
- keep your PCs, servers and associated hardware up to date, installing the latest security patches as they become available
- make sure that your staff avoid questionable websites
- know not to download free software/apps, run MS Office macros on email attachments or use USB sticks from unverified sources
- consider application whitelisting (blocking any software not already authorised)
- use different passwords for different business logins
Find out more about Protecting your business from cybercrime
Get in touch to learn more about our banking solutions and how we can help you drive your business forward.