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Protect Your Businesses From Malware: Know the Common Types

by Erik Briceno

When it comes to malware, the bad guys continue to increase in numbers and creativity.

Malicious software comes in a variety of forms. Some are designed to wipe out data, while others want to hold that data for ransom. But every type of malware means lost revenues for your business. That’s why it’s hard to overestimate how important it is for businesses to protect their data from these cybercriminals.

Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that cybercrime will cost $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. That staggering cost projection includes damage and destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational harm.

That’s bad enough, but to put that dollar figure into context for individual businesses, another recent study estimated:

  • Cyber security costs an average of $11.7 million each year.
    • That’s an annual increase of 22.7 percent.
  • Businesses experienced an average of 130 security breaches a year.
    • That’s an annual increase of 27.4 percent. numbers have the attention of the FBI, which explains the situation this way: “The threat is incredibly serious — and growing. Cyber intrusions are becoming more commonplace, more dangerous and more sophisticated. Our nation’s critical infrastructure, including both private and public sector networks, are targeted by adversaries. American companies are targeted for trade secrets and other sensitive corporate data, and universities for their cutting-edge research and development. Citizens are targeted by fraudsters and identity thieves, and children are targeted by online predators.”

5 Common Types of Malware

With those costs in mind, it helps to know what to look for. Here’s a rundown of some of the most common types of malware that can harm or disable your computer or mobile device:

  • Virus: Just like the flu, a computer virus can spread from user to user, and give you an equally bad headache. A computer virus is a piece of code capable of copying itself that typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data. More than half of the threats to computers come from viruses.
  • Trojan horse: Just like the Greek tale of subterfuge from which it takes its name, this kind of malware disguises itself as legitimate software. Trojans are the second largest type of malware.
  • Spyware: Again, the name says it all. This type of malware is designed to spy on you, collecting personal information. It hides in the background to gather information about what you do online, including passwords, credit card numbers, surfing habits and shopping preferences.
  • Worms: These infect entire networks of devices by replicating themselves across network interfaces. Worms use each consecutive infected machine to infect more.
  • Ransomware: Just like it sounds, this malware performs a high-tech kidnapping by locking down your computer and threatening to publish or withhold access to data unless a ransom is paid.

There are other types of malware — from adware to botnets to rootkits — but these are some of the key forms that businesses experience.

Invest in Protection

This picture of the cybercrime landscape underscores why it’s essential to protect against malware, whether its banking information on your personal laptop or proprietary data on your company’s network infrastructure.

Individuals and businesses need to guard against cyberthreats in their email, their cloud services and their information systems. Given the advancements in cyber attacks, it’s imperative for businesses to protect their critical information from security threats. V2 Systems can design safeguards that are an integral part of your network infrastructure, software and management right from the start.

Since 1995, Manassas Park, VA-based V2 Systems has employed local systems administrators, network engineers, security consultants, help desk technicians and partnering companies to meet a wide range of clients’ IT needs, from research, to implementation, to maintenance. Concentrate on your VISION…We’ll handle the TECHNOLOGY! 

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Protect Your Businesses From Malware: Know the Common Types
Protect Your Business From Malware: Know the Common Types