Malware is a malicious software or code, aimed at causing intentional damage to computers and networks.
Malware is often used as the first step to conduct cyberattacks. An unsuspicious employee may unwittingly download and execute a malware, resulting in devastating consequences.
Common Types of Malware
Virus: A malicious code that can replicate itself and spread to other computers. When executed, it can damage files and even destroy data. Viruses can spread to other devices via a program such as an email attachment.
Trojans: A Trojan (also known as Trojan horse) is a type of malware that disguises itself as a legitimate file. Users are tricked into downloading it on their computers. When the files are executed on the victims’ side, hackers can access the victims’ computer system and steal data, or even use them to conduct cyberattacks such as DDoS attacks. The infected file can exist in the form of a document, computer game or MP3 file.
Spyware: Just like its name, a spyware tracks and collects users’ activities and data without their knowledge. This includes your web traffic activities, login credentials and payment information. This malware can be unintentionally downloaded when visiting websites embedded with malicious codes. Legitimate files that you download may also be infected with spyware, resulting in you to execute the malware once the file is opened.
Worms: A worm is a malware that can replicate and spread itself to other computers without any human intervention. Worms make use of computer vulnerabilities to transmit themselves. They can take up your computer’s memory space, slow down your computer’s speed and performance, as well as delete files.
Ransomware: Ransomware infects your computer with the aim of denying access to your files or the entire computer system. A ransom is demanded in exchange for the restoration of access to the data. Phishing is often used to infect computers with the malicious software.
Adware: Adware automatically floods your computer with unwanted advertisements, or redirects you to a website you did not search for. Visiting websites already infected with adware will result in the unintended download of the malicious software. This is done so by exploiting your web browser or operating system vulnerabilities.
Defend Against Malware
As most malware would infiltrate your devices and network without your knowledge, it is crucial to have a strong cybersecurity system put in place. Timely detection and mitigation can help avoid irreversible damage being done.
Taking the first step to implement good cyber hygiene practice can help prevent 80% of data breach occurrences. Here are 6 things you can do to protect your digital assets:
- Deploy a web application and API protection (WAAP) on your web application. Such solutions protect your web application from a variety of attacks.
- Install an antivirus and anti-malware software on your computers. It can detect and eliminate viruses and malware from your computer.
- Backup your data regularly. This ensures that you still have access to your database in the event of a loss of data.
- Avoid clicking on pop-ups, as well as unknown emails and their attachments. This reduces the chances of unintentional malware downloads.
- Regularly update your system, to ensure that the latest security patches and updates are installed.
- Regularly scan your network for vulnerabilities. Using an automated vulnerability scanner eliminates the hassle of having to operate the scans.
At Polaris, our web application and API protection (WAAP) platform protects your web servers from cyber threats. Our automated vulnerability scanner is able to detect both unknown and known vulnerabilities, then automatically applying virtual patches to mitigate the vulnerabilities. You will also be alerted if there was to be the leakage of data from your web server, allowing you to take timely action ahead of a data breach incident.