What is Malware and How to Detect It

What is malware, you ask? The word “malware” actually stands for malicious software. It refers to harmful computer programs such as Trojans, worms and viruses. Cybercriminals use these to steal user data and damage computer systems.

According to Microsoft, malware is a blanket term for any type of software whose primary function is to damage a computer network, server or the actual device. Basically, you can identify malware through its action instead of the technology or method of execution.

Common Malware Types

Malwares come in many different types and you can identify them by the different software viruses that they proliferate. It can come in the form of a worm, Trojan, or virus etc. While most people use these words interchangeably, they actually refer to three very different occurrences.

  • A worm is a piece of software that acts alone. It has the ability to self-replicate and can spread like a virus from one computer to another.
  • A virus is a malicious computer code that has the ability to infiltrate another program’s code. It forces the said program to self-replicate and turn malicious.
  • A Trojan is a depended program that’s meant to acts as if it’s something else. This way it can hide inside your computer long enough to activate when a certain activity is completed. For instance, entering sensitive credentials into an online account can trigger a Trojan to steal that information. It will then send it back to its malicious source.

Attackers can manually install malware when they want to using the computer’s physical address. Or through a privilege escalation method which would allow them to act as the administrator.

Preventing Malware

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Malware primarily spreads through phishing and spam email. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that the email systems that you use are securely locked down and you should be knowledgeable enough to spot danger when you see it.

Stay vigilant and carefully check the formation you receive and stay alert to any recent phishing schemes so you know what to look for.

There are also quite a number of preventative steps that you can take to completely prevent malware from getting to your computer. For one, you should always update your systems and back it up regularly to prevent data loss in case of an attack. You should also perform regular vulnerability checks to keep your infrastructure safe. The best protection against ransomware, in particular, is to back up your files regularly.

Detecting Malware

Now that you know what is malware and how to detect it, it’s worth noting that almost every computer system will get it at some point. But, how will you know when your device has malware?

If you’re looking at it from the standpoint of corporate IT there’s a wide variety of visibility tools available at your disposal. These will make it easier for you to detect malware infections within the broader network because that’s how most malwares tend to spread.

Depending on the network monitoring tool you use, expect to pay anything between a few dollars to thousands.

That’s not all, however, as you’ll need to use SIEM tools as well which range from log management programs to full-scale analysis solution. You can use SIEM tools to examine logs from different appliances and computers within your network. Some of the best SIEM vendors that you should check out include Alien Vault, Splunk, HP Enterprises and IBM.  

Protecting Against Malware

malware protection

Installing good quality antivirus software is one of the best ways you can protect yourself from malware.

However, these may not be enough for cutting edge corporate networks. In such cases, you need endpoint security solutions to protect against malware. That’s because these offerings offer advanced malware detection to protect you against malware, spyware, and other unwanted and harmful intrusions.

Defencebyte is the best anti-malware on the market right now. It offers protection from all kinds of malware and also features endpoint protection that will keep your devices safe.

It doesn’t matter what budget you have, Defencebyte regularly updates its protection strategies and protocols so you are always safe from whatever attack cybercriminals come up with.

Did you find this article helpful? Do you feel like you now know what is malware? Sound off in the comments below!

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