The Basics of Business Malware
Malware is a general term for any type of malicious software, including viruses, spyware and Trojans. Malware can infect your computer in many ways, including through email attachments, downloads from unsafe websites, infected storage devices such as USB drives and by disguising itself as a legitimate program. Once it’s on your business’s computer system, malware can collect sensitive data, damage your system or even delete your files.
Most people know to be careful about clicking on links in email messages or downloading attachments from unknown sources. However, malware can also be spread through seemingly safe channels, such as social media and trusted websites.
Common Types of Malware
- Virus: A virus is a type of malware that can replicate itself and spread to other computers. Viruses can damage files, slow down your computer or even delete your entire hard drive.
- Worm: A worm is a type of malware that is similar to a virus, but it does not need to attach itself to a program in order to spread. Worms can spread quickly and infect a large number of computers.
- Trojan: A Trojan is a type of malware that is disguised as a legitimate program or file. Trojans can damage your computer or give hackers access to your personal information.
- Spyware: Spyware is a type of malware that gathers information about you without your knowledge. Spyware can track your online activity, steal your passwords and personal information, and even record your keystrokes.
- Adware: Adware is a type of malware that displays unwanted advertisements on your computer. Adware can be annoying and intrusive, but it is not typically harmful.
Risks Associated with Malware
Malware can cause a variety of problems, including:
- Financial Loss: Business malware can lead to financial loss in a number of ways. For example, it can encrypt files and demand a ransom for the decryption key, or it can steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers or login credentials.
- Data Theft: Businesses typically have a lot of valuable data, including customer data, proprietary information and confidential business records. Business malware can steal this data, resulting in significant financial losses for the company.
- Reputational Damage: In addition to financial losses, business malware can also damage a company’s reputation. For example, if customer data is stolen, the company may lose customers’ trust. Additionally, news of a data breach can damage a company’s reputation and make it less attractive to potential customers and investors.