Malware is any type of malicious software installed, without consent, designed to do damage or disable your business’s computer system(s) or network.

  • Malware can refer to viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits, and keyloggers.
  • Viruses attach to files and programs, are distributed through infected websites, flash drives (USB), and emails, and are activated by opening the infected application or file.
  • Spyware is malicious software used to gather data from your business’s devices/systems to take control of its features. Signs of spyware can include slowed systems, new or unidentified icons, toolbar changes, and camera activation.
  • Adware is software used to display advertisements and redirect your online search requests to advertising websites that collect marketing data about you.

If you think your business’s computer system(s) or network is infected by malware, we recommend that you act immediately by following our guidelines below, and then proceed to our ReportRecover and Reinforce sections for further assistance. Remember, malware can affect your business’s finances, privacy, and data.

Some Immediate Action Steps to Take

  • Immediately remove infected computers or devices from your business network.
  • Consider temporarily taking your network offline to stop the spread of malware.
  • Isolate your backups immediately.
  • Disable all shared drives that hold critical business information.
  • Change all online account passwords and network passwords after removing the system from your network.
  • Business Recovery Solutions: Find help with recovery by contacting one of our trusted partners.


Click Here to Report Your Incident to the FBI IC3

Reporting cybercrime incidents to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) via the link above is very important! The more national reporting data that is collected, the better the chance law enforcement has to catch the criminals and decrease online crime. Although the FBI does not resolve individual complaints directly, they will make your report available to local, state and other law enforcement partners. FAQs about IC3 reporting can be found here. Please read the FBI/IC3 privacy policy here. (If you believe that you’ve received a phishing email, please forward the email directly to


These resources have been gathered, selected and vetted to help simplify the process of recovering after a cybercrime incident has taken place. You may need to contact organizations outside Results will vary depending on your circumstances.


Once you have notified the appropriate organizations and you are on the road to recovery, it is time to reinforce your cybersecurity using these resources and tools.

Implement Preventative Measures

  • Visit the Cyber Readiness Institute to create a Cyber Incident Response Plan.
  • Install the most up-to-date security software on all of your organization’s devices.
  • Always keep operating systems, security software, and apps up to date.
  • Keep your firewall turned on at all times to prevent hackers from stealing passwords or other sensitive information.
  • Routinely back up your business’s data.
  • Teach your employees to never click on a link or open an email attachment from someone they don’t know.
  • Learn how to understand and address cybersecurity risks with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Cyber Essentials Toolkits.

Community Resources