Viruses, Ransomware, and Malware in 2019

July 30, 2019, MOQdigital Marketing

Copy of Copy of MOQdigital Jan - Mar IIViruses, Ransomware, and Malware in 2019 - what do they look like and how are they affecting modern business? Many companies have made the mistake of assuming that ‘old school’ threats are no longer relevant in a modern environment, but that could not be further from the truth. Viruses, ransomware, and malware have evolved with technology – and are still some of the most significant risks modern companies can face.

What They Are

Viruses, Ransomware, and Malware in 2019 are much the same as they were a decade ago, only they have evolved to affect a modern, digitally driven market. 

  • Virus: Are pieces of code that maliciously infect devices, affecting performance, files, and data. They can multiply and spread through devices and networks, often before they have been detected.
  • Ransomware: Is a malicious program that blocks access to devices and data until a ransom fee has been paid.
  • Malware: Is a term for any program that has been designed to damage, disrupt, or hack devices. Both viruses and ransomware can be considered malware.

All three of these threats can be very difficult, and very expensive, for companies to remove. Each disrupts operations in its own way, but all can be catastrophic for operations and ongoing risk management. This is especially relevant since all three threats often infect corporate networks before they are detected - making their damage more significant and their removal more difficult.

Why It Matters

IBM’s 2019 Security Report reveals that the average cost of a data breach is currently USD 3.9million. It takes an average of 279 days for a company to identify and contain a breach, with the lifecycle of a malicious attack lasting around 314 days. If a breach has a lifecycle of under 200 days, it will still cost a company USD 1.2million. Companies like Yahoo, the BBC, and the New York Times have all been victims to significant cyber threats, and the WannaCry attacks proved that no company is immune to a large scale, public data breach. Under the GDPR and NDB scheme, companies are now also held to a higher security and compliance standard – and most cannot afford a breach, let alone the fines associated with it. So, when it comes to facing viruses, Ransomware, and Malware in 2019, businesses aren't just facing an attack - they are facing the consequences and costs associated with it. 

The Evolution of Cyber Attacks

Viruses, ransomware, and malware have been around for a long time. Far longer than the digital explosion we are currently experiencing. This has led many companies to become complacent – thinking old threats irrelevant. But, just as Digital Transformation occurs within the workplace, so too, it occurs everywhere else. Threats have evolved dramatically, and often at a far faster pace than any other technology. Viruses, ransomware, and malware in 2019 can all affect a business by:

  • Impairing system performance
  • Deleting and disrupting data
  • Sending spam emails
  • Enabling Identity theft and credit card fraud
  • Corrupting files and programs
  • Holding sensitive data and insights at ransom
  • Holding physical devices at ransom
  • … and much more.

What You Can Do

There are several ways companies can help prepare themselves for the realities of operating in a digital age, but the most effective strategies can be broken down into two simple steps:

  1. Prevention: To reduce risk.
  2. Response: To contain threats.

Encountering cyber threats is not a matter of if, but rather when. A Future-Ready company will have plans in place to prevent risks from breaching their operations, but will also have a strategy in place to respond to Viruses, Ransomware, and Malware in 2019 - and beyond. Having both in place is integral to ongoing, meaningful Digital Transformation. Services such as Backup-as-a-Service and Vulnerability and Penetration Testing can help business leaders understand what their risks are, and how to respond to them.

If you are looking to build better security for your business, contact MOQdigital today.