In the face of the pandemic, many companies embraced remote work as a way of cutting down unnecessary human interactions. Unfortunately, the urgency of remote work did not allow organizations enough time to heighten their security measures. Remote work has caused a sudden surge in malware attacks.
- 1 Remote work is here to stay
- 2 Types of Malware
- 3 5 Ways to Increase Your Protection against Malware
Remote work is here to stay
Despite the challenges associated with remote work, the reduced cost of operation has proved it a viable work system for many companies. Further, the recent trends in the global pandemic necessitate that employees continue working from home for longer. How then do you protect yourself from malware attacks? This article walks you through the different types of malware to be wary of and how to protect yourself.
Types of Malware
A malware program gains access to your important user data, encrypts it and holds it hostage until you make a payment to cybercriminals. A ransomware program encrypts loads of data within a few minutes following a successful execution.
In malvertising, cybercriminals use legitimate ads to deliver malware programs to an unsuspecting user. To achieve this, cybercriminals pay legit websites to display their ads.
A click on the said ad downloads a malicious program into a user’s device or redirects them to a malicious website where malware programs auto-downloads onto a user’s device.
Adware programs campaigns come in the guise of adverts which keep popping up on your screen. A click on the supposed-to-be ad redirects you to another web which contains harmful “product promotions”.
Adware attacks mostly feature dubious programs and get-rich-quick schemes.
5 Ways to Increase Your Protection against Malware
Be careful when downloading software
You might realize that you are missing a certain software or application in your device while working from home. While downloading the missing tool from the internet might seem like a quick fix, it is also an easy avenue for a malicious attack to find its way to your device.
The internet has many fake software and a click on one is a gateway to downloading malware to your device. You should instead liaise with your IT department to have all the necessary software installed on your device.
Using a firewall
You can also use a firewall to protect your device from insecure networks. Setting up a firewall restricts the type of traffic that’s accessible through a particular port. Any attempt to contravene the security rule is disconnected immediately. You can also use a firewall to restrict access only to specific servers.
Using a VPN
Downloading a VPN is another effective measure. VPNs create a private tunnel for all your internet traffic. Through encryption, it makes your activity private even when you are connected to a public network. This is especially useful when you are connected to unsecured Wi-Fi networks, where hackers can easily distribute malware.
Use antimalware software
Always keep your device digitally safe by installing up-to-date antimalware software. Active antimalware acts as a real-time shield to malware attacks whenever your device is exposed. In addition, you should also ensure that your work devices are in a safe physical location, ensuring that malware cannot be plugged into your device with a removable disk.
Scan email contents
You can also use an email security tool to scan the contents of the emails sent to your inbox. This is an effective way of protecting yourself from emails containing malware attachments or links to malicious sites.
Keeping your devices up-to-date
Finally, always install updates on all your devices as soon as they are available. These updates are important because they protect you from malware campaigns capitalizing on outdated software vulnerabilities.