Nowadays, the vast majority of business activities are carried out online. Communications and day to day transactions are all done using computers, with the records being stored on them for safekeeping.
For a business that has come to rely so much on its computer network, there is nothing worse than falling victim to a cyber-attack. While it depends on the particular type of malware that is installed on the system, it is generally a very serious occurrence.
On the low end of the scale, it could be a minor infection that could be easily identified, isolated, and disposed of, but at other times, it could be a major invasion of your computer network to steal or simply destroy data that is essential to your business.
Types of Malware Infections
Computer viruses are the most common type of malware nowadays, with the most popular form being what is referred to as a Trojan horse. The program makes itself seem to be a legitimately useful program so your employees would be much more likely to install it, but then it begins to run harmful processes in your system.
Rootkits are a form of malware, but their primary function is to enable the continued existence of other types such as viruses. They do this by tampering with your operating system in a way that hides the malware completely, thus making it difficult even for dedicated anti-virus programs to find and eliminate it.
The purpose of many viruses is to create a backdoor into your system. This basically means that they exploit security defects in your network to make it possible for someone to remotely connect to the network and take actions within it. This is usually the way in which data is stolen or destroyed on company networks.
Apart from those above, a rising form of cyber-attacks is ransomware. As the name implies, the attacks are usually designed to pressure computer or network owners to pay a ransom. The particular threat varies from attack to attack, and it could be something like showing embarrassing images that cannot be removed on a computer screen or encrypting data.
In the latter case, which is likely of bigger concern to your business, the threat is often that the data will be destroyed if the ransom is not paid within a specified period of time.
Defences Against Cyber Attacks
With the dangers highlighted above, it is clear that your business must do the best it can to avoid an attack. There are various kinds of protective software that are available, but you will have to choose between two general types: application whitelisting or blacklisting.
The latter is blacklist software, which basically has descriptions of harmful software that are restricted from being installed on your computer. The disadvantage with this is that some new exploits might be used against you before the descriptions are updated in your program.
A whitelist protection program, on the other hand, contains the specific descriptions of software that has been pre-checked and approved as being safe for installation. You can easily update them to accommodate new needs, but they are more secure since absolutely nothing that is not on the list will be allowed on your network in the first place.