Understanding Why Malware is Such a Huge Threat


Malware has become a familiar term for computer users, and this is not such a good thing. They coined the term back in the 1990s and it is a combination of the English words “malicious” and “software”. As its etymology suggests, it refers to harmful programs meant to deal with damage to systems, often to gain access to confidential data. These threats are very widespread and are becoming an increasingly serious cybersecurity threat.

Common Types of Malware to Watch Out for

Over the years, hackers have developed new types of malware. To stay protected, one of the first things we need to do is to be aware of these threats and how each of them works.


Computer viruses work in the same way as viruses that cause people to get sick. When you open a nefarious file, which can happen even with a single unintentional click, the virus that is attached to it will infect your computer. It will replicate itself within your system and attach itself to other programs. Just like a regular virus, it will spread across different computers until the entire network is infected.


The purpose of spyware is to peek into confidential data. It attaches itself to legitimately downloaded files, and once it is inside your system, it reports information like passwords, account names, bank details, and so on, to a separate website. Often, you can tell if spyware has infected you if your computer slows down considerably.


Do you ever notice those annoying pop-up ads that show up while you are using your computer? It’s hard not to. Sometimes they tell you your computer is now infected, or you have won a prize. This malware will start showing up after you have downloaded something from an unsecured website. The adware pop-ups are not dangerous in themselves, but when you click on them, they will get a lot more hazardous quickly.


Ransomware attacks have multiplied tremendously in recent years, along with the rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies. What these do is freeze your network or data without actually causing damage just yet and release it only after you have paid the ransom that the hacker is demanding. But if you refuse to pay the ransom, what usually happens is the hacker will delete all your data from the device that is the hostage.


A new type of malware that is rapidly becoming quite popular, botware renders your computer immobile by inundating it with denial-of-service attacks. One effect of botware is that it makes your CPU run ceaselessly, causing a noticeable surge in your electricity usage.

Malvertising—A New Type of Malware

Aside from the common malware that we described above, there is also a new type of malware that might be worthy of its own category. This is called “malvertising” today.

Instead of attaching themselves to downloadable programs and such, malvertising piggybacks onto legitimate advertisements. The perpetrators use legit ads to spread malware through auto-redirecting ads. When you come across these redirecting ads, you will find yourself on a phishing website before you know it.

Cybercriminals that use malvertising prefer larger ad networks because they distribute a higher volume of ads. It is very difficult for these networks to keep a very close eye on every single ad they display. That is what the malvertisers are banking on. If no one notices they were able to infiltrate the script of ads and add their encrypted code, they can easily use this to install more dangerous malware into the victim’s network.

Final Thoughts On Malware-

Eradicating malware is an impossibility because there are always new ones being developed. But the good thing is that we can stay protected by being vigilant and prudent in all our online dealings.

If you want to learn more about malware and how to protect your business from it, just give us a call. We can give you a full lecture on online threats, conduct employee training, and bolster your defenses against all kinds of malware. Start your new Employee Training today and have everyone in your office watch our Free Cybersecurity Webinar. It’s a great first step in protecting your data.

Quiz Time: How Protected Is Your Business against the Threat of Phishing?


Have your employees take this simple quiz and find out if they have what it takes to keep your company safe from phishing attacks-

In the last three weeks, we have been discussing phishing attacks. We have talked about what they are, the different forms they take, the telltale signs of an impending attack, and specific steps you can take to protect your business. Given everything you now know, you should be able to tell if your employees can protect your business.

Having the right information is very important indeed. But often, the level of what you know has nothing to do with how you will react when hypothetical situations become reality. Take your employees, for instance. Let’s say you have trained them repeatedly on how to handle phishing attacks. If you want to find out if they can apply what they have learned, the simplest thing to do would be to test them and have them answer the following questions.


A Brief Quiz on Phishing

The following are some statements that have to do with phishing. Consider each one carefully and identify whether the statement is TRUE or FALSE.

  1. If you feel that you have been a victim of phishing, it is best to keep it to yourself.
  2. Incredible prize offers and deals that appear to be too good to be true are likely to be scams.
  3. Almost 88% of data breaches result from human error.
  4. Cybercriminals collect about $1.5 billion through phishing annually.
  5. Spam messages full of grammar and typo errors have consistently made good business sense for scammers.
  6. Sending millions of emails is an expensive task.
  7. You can protect yourself from phishing by validating emails before reacting to them.
  8. In managing your company’s social media accounts, accepting friend requests from anyone will help you generate more business leads.

Quiz Answers

  1. False

It’s quite surprising to know that a lot of employees feel embarrassed if they feel they have been phished. They probably think that it is their fault and that someone might blame them for exposing the rest of the company to online threats. It is necessary to report any phishing threat to your supervisor and the IT department so that they can take measures to remedy the situation and minimize further risk.

  1. True

Greed is one of the most effective ways to lure people into making poor decisions. If you get an email or text message saying you won something, think twice before clicking the link to claim the prize.

  1. True

It’s alarming to know that this number is increasing every year. The good news is that we can easily prevent these errors with sufficient employee training and education on phishing attacks and other online threats.

  1. False

Unfortunately, the number is even bigger. Phishing scams collect approximately $1.5 trillion dollars every year!

  1. True

Strangely, the poorly written emails that hackers send, which are riddled with all kinds of errors, have worked very well for them for many years.

  1. False

Online criminals can afford to send out email blasts to millions of recipients because it is very cheap for them to do so, costing just a few dollars for the entire batch.

  1. True

Before opening each email, you need to check the email address of the sender. If it’s someone you don’t know or if the domain looks suspicious, it’s best to just ignore the email.

  1. False

It’s tempting to accept friend requests from anyone because the more followers your company has, the better it is for marketing, right? Not necessarily, especially with the rampant online attacks that are going on these days. You should only accept requests from users validated by someone from within your company.


Evaluating the Results

After gathering your employees’ responses to the quiz, you will have a better picture of how they would react in the event of an attack. If they got a perfect score, then your business is in good hands! If the score is not so good, it simply means there is a need for more intensive training, and that is something we can help you with.

We conduct full-scale employee training to protect businesses like yours from phishing and other kinds of online threats. Start your new Employee Training today, and have everyone in your office watch our Free Cybersecurity Webinar.

If you feel you need to boost your defenses, give us a call. We will schedule a free consultation right away to discuss what we can do for your company.

Protect Your Business from Phishing Attacks

Phishing is a severe issue that is becoming worse. Hackers continue to improve their ways even as IT professionals work to develop more effective defenses against online attacks. What should a business owner do? Is it possible to defend your company against these increasingly damaging phishing attacks? Thankfully, there is, and that is what we will discuss today.

It is crucial to have a current security system in place to protect your data and apps. You require a solid firewall, up-to-date antivirus software, a thorough disaster recovery plan, and other security measures. More than this, you can take advantage of the many other highly efficient methods for safeguarding your company from phishing attempts, such as the ones listed below.

Password Policy

A password protects your sensitive data from the spying eyes of hackers. Passwords must be unique and challenging to break. When a user needs to create a new password, impose some restrictions. And change the passwords frequently to remain safe.

It’s best to create secure passwords randomly using a mix of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. The ones that use the user’s genuine name, birthday, or other publicly available information that can be simple for anyone to figure out are the worst.

Consistent Staff Training

The secret to your data’s security rests in the hands of your staff. Hackers use phishing emails and other communication channels to find a way into your business. A small error could have serious repercussions, including data loss and disruption of corporate operations. If your company regularly trains personnel in cybersecurity best practices, you have an improved chance of preventing such incidents. You can evaluate their understanding of what they learned by having them complete this Employee Readiness Check after each training session.

Device Security on Mobile

Online hazards have increased as remote employment has grown in popularity. Employees put data at risk by accessing it on their laptops, smartphones, or other mobile devices. To help prevent these threats, implementing strict mobile security regulations and effective mobile device management is essential.

Frequently Updated Software

Even the best security programs require periodic updates to remain effective against recent threats. Check to see if your system has the most recent security fixes available.

Superior Security

Many companies avoid using professional cybersecurity services because they believe they are just another unneeded expense and would like to use their own, less expensive security measures. While maintaining a budget is crucial, we always recommend that you invest in a trustworthy cybersecurity solution to protect your company from phishing and several other types of cyber threats.

We can put all these procedures into action for your company as a trustworthy managed service provider that has assisted companies of all sizes for years. Get in touch with us if you wish to strengthen your protection against phishing and other online risks. As a good start to your new Employee Training, have everyone in your office watch our Free Cybersecurity Webinar. We’ll be pleased to provide you with a free consultation, so call us today!

Telltale Signs of a Phishing Attack

The main reason phishing has become such a prevalent problem is that it works. And hackers keep finding new ways to increase the success rate even further. What used to be easily distinguishable attempts at stealing information have now become brilliant scams that look valid at first glance.

However, this doesn’t mean that phishing attacks always work. All that’s needed is for everyone to stay vigilant with online communications and ensure they know what to look for to identify a phishing scam. Here are some of the most important signs you should look out for.

Fake Email Address

Very few people stop to look at the sender’s address when they get an email. Most of the time, employees will glance at the subject line and check the message. If the recipient checked the validity of an email address, it might prevent most phishing attacks.

Amateur cybercriminals might use free email accounts like Gmail or Yahoo to send a phishing scam. Major players, however, use email domains just like real email. For instance, if you get an email from someone@amazonprime.az rather than someone@amazonprime.com, you’d better be wary.

Inconsistencies in Writing Style

If the style of writing is suspiciously different from what you have been getting from what appears to be the same sender, this can be a sign of a phishing hook. Also, some countries use different date formats. If date formats are not what you are used to, that’s also one sign.

Errors in Grammar and Spelling

Official emails get checked for grammar and spelling mistakes or go through basic spellcheck. A few minor typos and one or two misspellings are forgivable, but email with blatant errors, especially if it is supposed to be from a reputable company, is a good sign of a phishing scam. It’s likely because the hacker used an automated language translator to mass produce the message for potential victims.

Suspicious Attachments

You should never open attachments unless you are expecting them or if you can confirm with the actual sender that they indeed intended them for you. Otherwise, don’t open it, no matter how legitimate looking the filename might be. It’s likely they loaded these attachments with malware that will unleash themselves on your system once you click on them.

Fake Links

No one would knowingly click on a fake link, but these phishing emails are made to look so real. To check whether they are valid or not, hover over them and read the URL, particularly the domain name. If it seems questionable, that’s because it probably is. Delete the email and don’t give it a second look.

There is no 100% guarantee of protection against phishing attacks but looking out for these telltale signs is an excellent first step. As a business owner, be sure that all your employees know these signs and that you have properly trained them on the critical security measures against online threats. For more about these threats and what you can do to protect your business, start your new Employee Training today and have everyone in your office watch our Free Cybersecurity Webinar.

It’s time to take cybersecurity seriously. Call us and let’s protect your business today.