5 types of malware business owners should be aware of

Malware can do real harm to business operations. Knowing what malware looks and acts like, business owners can be better prepared to fight it.

Business owners are inundated on a daily basis with issues that come up, problems to solve. One issue that may not be on your mind is the silent killer, malware. Malware is software designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to your computer systems.There are hackers trying every which way to rip off and disrupt business operations by stealing sensitive data and wreaking havoc on your systems. The best way to combat malware, is to understand the malware classifications so that you can protect yourself and your business.

These are the different types of malware and explaining how to recognize them:

1. Virus

There’s a tendency to refer to all malware as viruses, when that is actually a misnomer. In today’s world, with the many different kinds of malware that plague the cyber world, computer viruses have actually become rather uncommon, comprising less than 10% of all malware.

Viruses infect other files, which makes it really hard to clean them up. Some of the best antivirus programs struggle and most of the time they either quarantine the infected files but don’t actually kill the virus itself.

2. Worm

A worm is self-replicating and spreads without end-user action, causing real destruction.

Whereas, viruses need

end users to kick them off so that they can go on and infect other files and systems, worms don’t need any such end-user action. They simply spread all on their own, self-replicating and destroying everything in its path from systems, devices, networks and even connected infrastructure. Worms spread by manipulating other files and programs to do the spreading work. When one person in an organization opens an email that contains a worm, the entire network in the organization could get infected in just a few minutes. This is why worms are so dangerous.

3. Trojan

Trojans, named after the infamous Trojan war, impersonate legitimate programs, but, they contain malicious directives. Trojans most commonly arrive through email or spread from infected websites that users visit. A user may find a pop up that tells him his system was infected and instruct him to run a program to clean his system. He takes the bait, and the trojan is in the system. Trojans are very common because they are easy to write.

4. Ransomware

Ransomware takes control of your systems and demands a ransom from you, usually money, to return your system to normal. A ransom note arrives, demanding payment for decrypting the files. If it is not paid, the encrypted files could eventually be destroyed Unfortunately, in some cases, hackers refuse to return files to normal even after you’ve paid the ransom. This makes ransomware one of the most devastating forms of malware.

5. Spyware

Spyware helps hackers spy on users and their systems. This kind of malware can be used for key-logging, thereby allowing hackers to gain access to sensitive personal data including login credentials. Spyware is also used by people who want to keep a check on the computer activities of people personally known to them. Spyware is easy to remove.

Basic tips to combat malware

With all the technology out there, it is easy to feel powerless against threats and attacks. The following are some basic things that could help prevent malware infection in your business:

  • Update your operating systems, internet browsers, plugins, on a regular basis

  • Take advantage of all the necessary security tools

  • Update all your business and personal software regularly

  • Look out for phishing emails, or things that look suspicious

  • Never click on links or download attachments from unknown or untrusted sources

  • Come up with strong passwords and change them periodically

  • Don’t use un-encrypted or dangerous public connections

  • Layer your security starting with basic measures like firewalls and antivirus software


Malware is a very real threat to business systems and aim to disrupt the natural flow of business. Knowing the different types of malware can help you be aware and on the lookout for when you see something that doesn’t look right. Awareness of the threats out there is a huge preventative measure. To talk with a professional about how to secure and protect your business systems please call us for a quick free consultation.