DTCI Tips


DTCI TIPS: MALWARE SERIES - MALWARE AND HOW TO MINIMIZE THE RISKS

April 14, 2016

 DTCI and Glenwood Insurance Company recently held a Cybersecuity educational event.  Some that were invited opted out as they believe Cybersecurity is not applicable to them.  Here's the deal........if you use email or the internet, you are a candidate for cyberattack or malware intrusion.

Malware. What is Malware?  Malicious software.  A program intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems when executed.  There are different types of malware.  Some of these include:

  • Phishing - the activity of posing as a legitimate company thru online activity in order to obtain account or login credentials.  They don't succeed unless you give it up.  Don't get duped!
  • Worms - Malware that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers.  It does not alter files but resides in active memory and duplicates itself slowing and dragging on your computer.  
  • Trojan Horse - A program that misrepresents itself to appear useful, routine or interesting in order to persuade installation which often occurs through an email attachment.  Trojans don't generally inject themselves into other files, but may hang out to see what they can collect or manipulate to their benefit.  Stealthy.
  • Ransomware - Malware, that when executed, restricts access to the infected computer and demands you pay "ransom" to remove the restriction.  Some ransomeware encrypts files on the hard drive, which become difficult or impossible to decrypt without paying the ransom.  Ransomware typically gets to you through a Trojan disguised as a seeminlgly legit file.

So, what measures can we take to minimize risks?  

  1. Personal vigiliance and train your staff to excercise personal vigillance.  This you can do TODAY.  Malware can easily spread via email.  It can be disguised in an email that looks like it is from a friend - verify the email address, one letter might change.  Emails that ask you to provide a password or says, "check out this link" are red flags - BEWARE.  
  2. Every personal and business computer should have antivirus software installed.  This will provide a 2nd layer of protection.  
  3. Back up your data - if you encounter an issue you can clear your machine and start again with the back up.  
  4. Keep your software updates current.  The software manufacturers are looking for ways to combat malware as well.  You need the update to obtain their recent efforts.
  5. Show hidden file-extensions and filter EXEs in emails.  Attachments with extentions that are ".exe' (executable) are NO-NOs.   If you know the sender and it looks legit, pick up the phone and verify. Otherwise, don't open the doc, delete the email.  
  6. Use a popup blocker.
  7. If you find that you have opened a link or document that now has you locked up or spinning and spinning - power your computer down immediately!  

Here's a video that I found very informative and helpful in understanding some of the current risks through online activity.  If you hover over this link you can see it is a "youtube.com/"....... link.  Always hover over a link before opening it to make sure it is not a website that seems weird or irrelavant.  With all of these DTCI Tips**, I have just one more.  Don't miss out on our OUTLOOK as a BUSINESS TOOL workshop at the Glenwood Springs Library, April 28.  Click here for more info.  Hope to see you there!

 

If you have questions please feel free to contact us.

 




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