Malware most commonly reaches your business through email. As attacks become more sophisticated, your business may be vulnerable. A malware attack means more than just a security risk. If attacked, your business runs the risk of lost intellectual property, productivity, business reputation, time and money. The average total organizational cost of a data breach in the U.S. is $6.5 million, and an average of 250,000 malware variants are detected every day.
Malware is any software created to cause damage; but there are different types and considerations when looking to protect your small business. What types of malware are threats to your small business?
- Spyware is software that gathers information on a user or organization without their knowledge.
- Trojan horses are malicious programs that trick victims into installing on their computer.
- Phishing is an attempt to acquire sensitive information by posing as a trusted entity.
- Worms are standalone programs that replicate themselves to spread to other devices.
- Ransomware restricts access to system data, demanding ransom to remove the restriction.
- Viruses are malware that replicate by inserting copies of themselves into other programs, files or hard drives.
Unprotected emails open the door to these attacks. Most viruses, Trojan horses and worms are activated when users open attachments or click links in email messages. Without proper protection, you’re opening the door for costly and damaging attacks. The right preventative measures will guard your business against the loss a malware attack brings. These include secure email hosting, email encryption, using a secure email server and anti-virus protection.
Malicious or criminal attacks are the primary cause of data breaches: 49% involved a malicious or criminal attack, 19%concerned negligent employees and 32% involved IT and business process system glitches. Businesses can build up their defenses by using a paid, hosted cloud. Fortunately, Microsoft Office 365’s Exchange Online cloud-hosted email for business fortifies your IT defenses with a variety of tools like robust antivirus protection, automatic patching and anti-spam filtering.
As attacks become more sophisticated, advanced security, privacy, encryption and anti-virus technologies from Office 365 can be your best defense. To learn more about the protection that Exchange Online can offer your business, check out the infographic, “Guarding against email attacks.”
Thanks to the Microsoft Office Team for this contribution.