When a customer goes into a store or restaurant, most don’t imagine ending up as part of a malware attack. Yet, cyber-attacks are quite common. According to Inc., in the past 12 months, over 50% of all small to medium-sized businesses experienced a cybersecurity breach.

In 2018, a malware attack on Chili’s restaurants left customers’ credit card and debit card information exposed. According to the parent company, Brinker International, hackers broke into the Chili’s system and collected payment information from customers. Although the company couldn’t give exact details on the extent of the malware attack, it advised people who had eaten at Chili’s to review their statements and take precautions. 

What is Malware?

Malware is a broad term describing all types of malicious software. Hackers and cybercriminals can use malware to attack your business. These executable programs can take action once they have obtained control in some way. However, malware isn’t a new phenomenon. For decades, cybercriminals have used all sorts of malware (viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, etc.) to attack and damage businesses and consumers. If your business suffers a malware attack, it can compromise your customers’ identities and steal their credentials. Yet anti-malware solutions safeguard both your business’ and your clients’ sensitive information. 

Hackers use malware to attack your business for a number of reasons. In most attacks, the main motivation is money. In case of the attack on Chili’s, the criminals stole customers’ credit card data and payment details. 

Malware Detection — 6 Basic Steps You Can Do Today

Failing to detect malware exposes your company to loss, both of revenue and customers. Detecting malware as soon as possible is key in limiting these and other damages to your company and your clients. Below are 6 steps you can follow today to detect malware and protect your enterprise from cyber attacks. 

  1. Choose a comprehensive anti-malware service — Virus scans won’t stop malware. Instead, use a robust anti-malware service that proactively monitors, detects, analyzes, and takes down the malware site. By using a comprehensive anti-malware service, you can protect business and your customers against stolen credentials, leaked secrets, and safeguard everyone’s sensitive information.
  2. Control employee web browsing — Anti-malware works best when everyone is on board. Realistically, your employees access all sorts of internet sites on company devices. Yet not all of these people take internet security seriously. Some sites they visit, like social media, seem innocuous, but can lead to malware infections. 
  3. Talk about policies — Address the issues of malware and web safety with all of your employees. Let them know that their inexperience could cost the company revenue. It is beneficial to establish a policy or policies. If policies are in place, review these existing policies. It’s better to do this now before someone unknowingly opens a backdoor for hackers. 
  4. Limit your employees’ ability to change device settings — If your people use your company’s computers, take away their administrative abilities. Unless they are an IT pro, don’t allow them to change a machine’s password or settings, download software, or change firewall settings. 
  5. Educate your people — Many companies conduct business on the web. Because of this, every single person in your organization needs to be aware of how threatening malware is. Train them to recognize malware threats. Also, make sure they know where to report the threat and to whom. Security Awareness programs are one way to train your people to recognize potential online security threats. Using tools like simulated malware and ransomware training, your staff can be trained on what to look for and how to react. In the end, an investment in training can help everyone protect your company against cyberattacks. 
  6. Be proactive — Don’t wait for a malware attack to happen. Take the initiative and choose an anti-malware service today. 

How do I know if my computer has malware?

There are several signs of a malware infection on a computer or device. Firstly, if a device is running much slower than normal, while it may simply be a slow machine, this could also be a sign of malware. Also, if your web browser redirects you to a home page or search page that you didn’t choose, your computer could have malware. In addition, the browser may display a toolbar that you never installed. Another sign of malware infection is when your computer’s standard maintenance tools won’t work. Furthermore, strange pop-ups or ads, even if you aren’t using your browser, could be another sign of malware.

What malware detection options are available that companies can use?

Having malware detection in place could save your business tons of man-hours and money. However, protecting your company from malware begins with prevention. Reliable malware detection is the best way to do this. The best options for malware detection are services that offer ongoing protection. An Anti-malware service is one of the best types of protection. With it, your organization should get proactive monitoring, detection, analysis and takedown of malware sites.

Once malware has been detected, what steps should be taken to handle removal of the threat?

The first step is identifying and containing the threat. Your organization needs to know what type of attack you suffered, when the malware infection took place, along with what assets and which people it has affected. 

If your customers have been affected, let them know right away. The longer a company waits to inform people of a malware attack or a cyber threat, the more your brand will suffer. Limit the damage to your reputation by telling customers ASAP. This includes providing a clear method for customers to contact your company and timely response to their questions and concerns.

Most importantly, make sure that you have a robust anti-malware service which can handle any future threats. If your organization doesn’t currently have an anti-malware service, this should be a priority for preventing further cyber attacks. 

Protect Your Business with Anti-Malware 

Cybercriminals don’t discriminate where they make their money. As large organizations and government bodies start to arm and protect themselves, they change-up their methods to get around the defenses and then start to level the same attacks and mid-sized businesses or anyone with a brand big enough to net them a financial windfall. 

Early detection and quick intervention are key to any successful response. A key to this is knowledge, experience and understanding of what to look for and once you’ve found it, what parts of the attack to eliminate first.

FraudWatch International’s anti-malware solutions have protected businesses and organizations for over 15 years. As a global leader in online fraud protection services, we have disrupted thousands of malware attacks by monitoring threats and keeping companies safe. Specifically, our suite of proprietary technologies offers your company proactive monitoring, detection, forensics analysis, and industry-leading takedown times. 

What’s more, training everyone in your company is one of the best ways to detect malware. FraudWatch International’s Security Awareness Training can help you prevent loss by equipping your employees with the knowledge and tools they need. To learn more about our Anti-Malware Protection or our Security Awareness cybersecurity training, contact us today.