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Data Security: When Malware Training Could Save You Thousands

16. July 2014 08:23

Woman looking suspiciously at computer

Cyber thieves are up to their old tricks in Brazil. Forbes recently reported on a new type of malware – called “Bolware” – that allows cyber criminals to redirect electronic payments into fraudulent accounts and steal login credentials. The malware is named after the Boleto, Brazil’s most popular form of online payment. A Boleto is sort of like a money order and allows consumers to pay a merchant an exact amount.

The RSA report cited in the article estimates that Bolware has made almost 500,000 fraudulent transactions and stolen about 84,000 email credentials (mostly from hotmail.com and live.com domains). It’s estimated that there are more than 192,000 infected PCs across Brazil.

Fortunately, this sneaky form of malware only appears to function with Boletos, so individuals and businesses in the United States don’t have to worry about it. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lesson to be learned.

What Is Malware?

Malware is a generic term for malicious software, including viruses, worms, rootkits, spyware, trojans, and adware. Different types of malware behave in various ways – and some are more dangerous than others. But malware is always serious. Many types steal private information, which can lead to identity theft and fraud. Anyone – including small-business owners – can accidently install malware.

How Small Businesses Can Protect Themselves from Malware

One of the things that make Bolware so dangerous is that it’s very difficult to detect. The fraud is invisible both to both browsers and individuals. Plus, because of the nature of the Boleto, it’s difficult for consumers to verify that their Boleto information has not been replaced with information from a fraudulent account.

It’s unclear exactly how Bolware infects computers – and cyber criminals regularly update its methods and self-protection. But because Bolware is known to steal email credentials and send spam, it’s likely that users unknowingly install the malware by clicking on fraudulent links or by visiting malicious websites.

Even though Bolware is not an issue in the United States, standard malware is. Anyone – including you and your employees – can fall victim to a phishing scam and end up with malware on your devices. The best defense? Train your employees to recognize malware and other types of viruses. As long as your business knows what to look for, you can avoid downloading malicious software.

Here are some tips from PCWorld that can help you recognize online dangers:

If you don’t have antivirus or antimalware protection, get some and scan your computer regularly. Additionally, you should always keep your operating system, browser, and software up to date to ensure you have the latest security patches. Lastly, don’t forget to run a firewall!

Unfortunately, your best defenses sometimes fail. Accidentally installed malware can lead to a security breach, which can cost a business thousands in lost revenue and data breach cleanup. That’s why insurers offer Cyber Liability Insurance. It helps you pay for your data breach response, including credit-monitoring services, investigation, and marketing campaigns.

know your business risks

Tags:

Cyber Risk Insurance | Data Breach | Risk Management | Small Business | Small Business Risk Management | Tips for All Small Businesses

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