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Cyber Fact: Malware

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By: Olivia

August 8, 2017

According to CSO, “Global ransomware damage costs are predicted to exceed $5 billion in 2017. That's up from $325 million in 2015, a 15X increase in two years, and expected to worsen. Ransomware attacks on healthcare organizations, the No. 1 cyber-attacked industry, will quadruple by 2020.”

What is malware?

Malware is an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of forms of intrusive software, including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, scareware, and other malicious programs. Malware is defined by its malicious intent, acting against the requirements of the computer user and does not include software that causes unintentional harm due to some deficiency.There are many factors that make computers vulnerable to malware attacks including allowing users to have too many permissions or defects in the OS. Software such as anti-virus and firewalls are used to protect against activity identified as malicious. Perhaps the best protection is still the typical advice: do not open unfamiliar email attachments, avoid suspicious websites, and continually update antivirus programs.

Why is malware dangerous?

The extent of malware danger is dependent on whether the affected computer is a home computer or on an extensive network. Malware can exploit security holes in your browser as a way of invading your machine, enabling attackers to gain access to sensitive information including business records and personally identifiable information.

Recent malware news

Malware attacks in recent news, such as the NotPetya wiper malware, have brought the danger of malware to light in the mainstream media, further emphasizing the need for every organization to have a comprehensive security program. Additionally, the discussion of the critical skills gap for cyber professionals has only heightened.While there is an increasing need for professionals skilled at preventing malware attacks, there is also a need for those capable of investigating those attacks. Security software alone can’t pinpoint them—the eyes and expertise of a trained computer forensics professional are necessary.

Become a Computer Forensics Professional

Learn to determine potential online criminal activity at its inception, legally gather evidence, search and investigate wireless attacks.Obtaining your certification as a digital forensics investigator signifies that you possess the fundamental knowledge to carryout forensically sound investigations in order to preserve evidence. The scope of someone in this role extends from attack investigation to assisting System administrators detect a problem by defining what is normal functional specifications and validating system information for irregular behaviors.olivia2Olivia Lynch (@Cybrary_Olivia) is the Marketing Manager at Cybrary. Like many of you, she is just getting her toes wet in the infosec field and is working to make cyber security news more interesting. A firm believer that the pen is mightier than the sword, Olivia considers corny puns and an honest voice essential to any worthwhile blog.
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