MALWARE MAYHEM: The Current State of the Malware Threat Landscape and How To Stay Ahead

The malware threat landscape saw many changes since 2018 – traditional threats such as ransomware are still rife, causing damage to organizations and their bottom-line; crimeware (financially motivated malware) remains the most prevalent threat; while threats such as cryptojacking (“the unauthorized use of a device by cybercriminals to mine for cryptocurrency”) and phishing notably increased. Additionally, “card-skimming”, such as the Magecart attacks where hackers targeted big name brands such as British Airways, grew exponentially during 2018.

Against this backdrop, organizations find themselves in the less than enviable position to have to gauge or keep up with a constantly evolving and difficult to predict malware threat landscape.  Ultimately, malicious attackers aim to achieve maximum impact and gain both in tactics and technology. So, what can organizations do to stay ahead of malware attacks?

A predictive, multi-layered defence is the best malware threat offence

Sophisticated threats require predictive, multi-layered, security solutions including anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-ransomware that can work together as a system.

Move to the cloud

The cloud offers the best option to stay ahead of malware attacks – it offers the most up-to-date security programs and software as well as disaster recovery as an option, in the event of a malware attack or natural disaster.

Update your browser including security patches

As cyber criminals can exploit vulnerabilities in outdated browsers, software designers regularly release updates and include new security patches for enhanced protection. It helps to change your browser settings to download automatic updates for increased security.

Update your operating system and anti-virus software

Update your operating system (OS) when it prompts you to do so as these updates are essential for padded security against malware. Keeping both OS and anti-virus software up to date makes it more difficult for cyber criminals to gain access to your network. 

Use safe browsing

Despite the precautions, your employees can still be your weakest link. IT teams should train employees to use only safe browsing, as malicious websites are some of the easiest ways to pick up viruses, ransomware and worms.  Similarly, employees should be extremely cautions of any pop-ups especially pop-ups that ask you to run a program.

Watch out for social engineering

Emails and social media are the preferred carriers of malware for cyber criminals. Employees should know or be trained to never open emails or Facebook (for example) messages from unverified senders or profiles. Phishing scams are particularly common within these avenues and once a user clicks on links in emails and from social messages

Malware attacks can be costly for organizations in terms of data loss and damaged systems.  We have successfully assisted numerous organizations avoid and/or recover from malware attacks and, with threats to your data increasing daily, can you really afford to call us today? Your data is always safe with Stage2Data!