Despite computers being around for over 3 decades in most facets of our communities, we’re just experiencing global digitalization on a massive scale. With just about every business out there relying on computers, it’s only expected to see a spike in nefarious activities.
Black hat attacks are becoming a frequent thing, even in industries that one would think are safe. Here’s how you can deal with a malware attack on your workstation, should you come face to face with this malicious software.
What is Malware and Is It a Serious Threat?
Malware is a malicious piece of software that can but doesn’t have to be overt. The purpose of malware is to give whoever is controlling it access to your computer. There are all kinds of malware out there, ranging from the not so nefarious to ransomware that can completely brick your data.
The Best Line of Defense is Caution
The absolute best way to deal with malware is to understand what it is and how it works. A simple crash course on this subject can make you prepared and raise awareness of simple things you can do to reduce your risk of exposure.
You’ll learn that clicking links in emails from unknown sources is a massive risk, or that you should always check the sender address or links that are coming from seemingly reputable sources. Awareness and prevention are key to cybersecurity.
What if Malware is Already in the System?
If you’ve already contracted malware on your workstation, you’ve got a few options. You can choose to attempt to salvage the system yourself, which is difficult unless you know what you’re doing. Or, you can contact a computer and laptop repairs specialist who is experienced with this type of work. Depending on how sensitive the data is on your workstation, you might want to get the computer to a pro as soon as possible.
Redundancies are Key
Aside from prevention and having a pro on speed dial, there’s another way you can save yourself from a malware attack – make redundancies and backups. If you or your organization depend on static data of some sort, you should always have backups. In fact, you should have backups that are offline and off-site.
The issue with modern malware is that it’s often written by someone who knows what they’re doing. Although script kiddies can be dangerous, most of them are in it for fun. It’s the more serious players that are causing the most damage.
Ransomware attacks have increased exponentially these past few years. So much so that the UK’s NHS fell victim to a massive attack not so long ago, leaving hospitals locked out of their systems. Dealing with ransomware isn’t always easy nor possible, depending on how well the virus was written.
In some cases, the only thing you’re left to do is wipe the system and install a fresh copy of Windows. It’s these rare instances where having a backup literally saves the day. There are ways to set simple automated backups to either cloud or a different medium, that will create a solid fail-safe.