Security of a system, network or an entire organization does not always come from encrypting the data during transmission from source to destination. Other influencing factors affect the security postures and if they are taken lightly, can harm the system as well as the data that are residing within the system of every employees or individual. In this chapter, you will get to know about malware and computer viruses and different measures through which you can maintain security and safety.
What Is Malware?
The term "malware" is a combination or blend of two words - malicious and software, and it means malicious software that can be utilized to harm any system, or network or mobile devices or even the servers. These are unpleasant programs installed without any proper or actual user consent that can damage the performance of your system, erase your data, and mine your personal data. They can be even controlled remotely by malicious cybercriminals. So, from these activities, it is now clear that these malicious programs need to stop accessing any system.
Security professionals and analysts are hired in almost all companies to keep track of all systems, network and servers to see if there is any malicious activity getting performed or not, or whether there is any data leakage and stealing happening within the organization's network or not. Malware may come from unknown phishing sites, spam emails or unauthorized or illicit external USB or flash drives.
Types of Malware
Let us get to know about them in brief.
What Is Computer Virus?
Computer viruses are malicious codes that can contaminate multiple files on any system. They get spread when these infected files are sent over emails or via flash or external drives and can replicate and delete useful information.
Viruses are of different types:
- Boot sector virus.
- Polymorphic virus.
- Web scripting virus.
- Browser hijacking virus.
- Direct action virus.
- Resident virus.
- File infectors.
- Multipartite virus.
- Macro virus.
What is Computer Worm?
Computer Worms are particular types of malware that are self-replicating, and through this technique, they spread to another computer. It gets spread by itself through the computer networks or by the use of other flash drives.
What is Spyware?
Spywares are unwanted programs that will spy on your system without your knowledge and will steal your sensitive data and other browsing information and will or will take access to your system to damage it.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware's are malicious programs that will encrypt all your system's data and will ask for a ransom to decrypt these files. They take support of the Bitcoins to get the ransom.
What is Rootkit?
A rootkit is special harmful programs used by cybercriminals to take privileged access to any system by hiding its presence in that system.
What is Trojan?
A trojan is programmed for a special purpose and can be destructive. They act as legitimate files but can bring unexpected change to your system even when your system is in an idle state.
What is Adware?
Adware is malicious software that will hide and will periodically pop up with ads. Some of them also keep tracks of your online activities and searches.
How to Keep the Systems Safe From Malware and Viruses
These are some steps you can follow to protect yourself from any virus attacks:
- Install Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware Software.
- Make sure your Anti-Virus software is up to Date.
- Run scheduled scans for malicious threats and programs using your anti-virus software regularly.
- Keep your Operating System updated.
- Secure your network with WPA3, honey-pots, strong authentication mechanisms and passwords.
- Think before clicking any malicious or unknown links.
- Keep a backup of your work and personal information safe.
- Never use any public Wi-Fi while using your corporate work or using your company's system.