The Best Way to Protect Your Business? Start Fighting Back Before Malicious Malware Attacks

Worried About Malware? Protect Your Business Proactively With Managed IT Services- Before Disaster Strikes

Malware is software that has been developed to attack and inflict harm on computers and their networks.

Malicious attacks can be especially damaging to businesses because once malware infects computers, it can be used to disable your business, hold your data hostage or even steal crucial account details to ensure mayhem and bend your organization to your attacker’s will.

What Is Malware?

Malware is a type of software that is designed to cause disruption and damage to computer systems.

While there are many different types of malware, such as adware, viruses, spyware and browser hijacking programs, it should be noted that much like a virus in biology, a computer virus has the capacity to replicate itself and infect other computers on the network.

With that in mind, hackers are constantly looking for for security vulnerabilities in websites so they can use them to their advantage by infusing malware into the software and systems that are already present, even on trusted websites.

(Sidenote: Studies have shown an estimated 82% of malicious sites are actually legitimate websites which have been compromised)

The United States has the highest number of malware-infected web pages in the world and the effects of malware can vary from nusicances such as simply being inconvenienced by recurring pop-up windows to more sinister and damaging effect such as identity theft and financial failure (based on extortion or fines incurred).

Just How Do Malware Attacks Work?

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 While the inner-workings of each malware exploit will vary, from a business decision making and Office IT related perspective, most have this in common:

  • They are extremely effective at infecting and exploiting their victims
  • Malware attacks can often force operations to grind to a halt as business is brought to a stop for triage and quarantine to be fully conducted 
  • Without the right safeguards and recovery solutions in place, your business can face days (possibly even weeks) of downtime and/or have to deal with massive data loss
  • Malware exploits place your clients’ sensitive data in harm’s way (if your business network is compromised, data stored and transmitted also is at risk)
  • Businesses held to data security standards (such as PCI-DSS, the SEC OCIE Cybersecurity Initiative Guidelines or HIPAA Security Rule requirements) will often incur fines if they are found to have insufficient safeguards in place.

What Is the Financial Cost of an Attack?

Research analysts estimate that businesses around the world will spend approximately $500 billion dollars repairing computer systems from malware damage and other security breaches.

Furthermore, when you take into account the number of hours or days spent trying to retrieve lost data (depending on what business continuity and backup technologies you have in place), that figure easily climbs higher.

Another tactic which has been growing rapidly is the use of malicious injections into businesses’ payment processing systems, which allows cybercriminals to steal customers’ credit card information.

Data loss can set a business back weeks, if not months. Malware attacks are continuously on the rise, and industry trends are showing that hackers are now adjusting their aim to going after small to midsize businesses. Why? With smaller operational staff, or a lack of a fully-fledged IT department, these cyber raiders know they’ve identified a soft target… 

Keeping in mind that a data breach can result in multiple punitative fines, potential lawsuits and most importantly, a loss in consumer confidence as  credit card payment information and personal data are exposed (as seen even with big-name players such as Target).

How to Protect Your Business From Malware

It’s time to take a stand and make sure your business is protected. Take action to know your organization is prepared. Rest assured with the knowledge that your business will be be back up and running, able to rapidly move forward if and when you are attacked.

The financial cost to affected businesses can be staggering, but by choosing to work with with seasoned Bay Area IT services veterans, disaster can be avoided by  partnering with the right IT firm. 

When you combine a proactive approach to business IT with dedicated and ongoing strategic technology planning, regular monitoring and ongoing updates supported by best-in-class business continuity and recovery solutions, you drastically decrease the likelihood of your organization becoming a malware target and enable your business to stay one step ahead of the hackers.

Curious where your network stands? Find out today with a free onsite network assessment with one of our technology experts.

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