Know Your Threats: The Differences Between Viruses, Computer Worms, and Trojan Horses

If you aren’t an IT expert, it can be intimidating hear about all the different types of threats that exist out there on the internet. As a service provider, we see it as part of our responsibility to educate people out there who don’t have a definitive grasp of the technological hurdles that they are facing. There are multiple types of malware, and they all function differently. They have different abilities and take advantage of your operating systems in different ways. In this blog, we will discuss a selection of malware, what they do, and some of the precautions you can take against them.

What Are Computer Viruses?

A computer virus is the term that is tossed around the most as a catch-all term for many different things that infect a computer. A virus infects your systems by attaching itself to a file or program so it can tag along as it travels from one computer to another. As it travels, it leaves infection in its wake. In the same way that viruses can affect humans, the severity of one virus can vary wildly from another.

One virus might cause some irritating operational side effects while another could delete or wholly overwrite other files and programs. A unique trait of viruses is that it requires interaction from you to keep spreading. It travels through email attachments and file transfers. It is typically shared by innocent mistake, but still could have severe consequences.

So What Is A Computer Worm?

A computer worm is actually a sub-class of a virus. They share certain traits, but also have some different features. Worms will also jump from computer to computer, but unfortunately they do not require any help from a person to make the journey. The worms will take advantage of the mass transit systems that are already available within your computer systems to distribute itself. This malicious code will also replicate itself and could send out thousands of copies in all different directions.

Its’ ability to travel on its own power and then replicate itself makes these a uniquely hardy threat. The piece of malware will jump to everyone in your email address book and then to all the people in those email address books, and on down the line. If you do that math, you won’t like the result. Some worms will only cause minor issues, while others could cause DDoS attacks by overloading network bandwidth or system memory with so many demands that you are unable to access your own services.

I’ve Heard Of The Old Wooden Trojan Horse; Is This Malware Like That?

It is exactly like that relic of the Trojan War. It is a destructive program that is disguised as a genuine, trustworthy application. It wants the Greek soldiers to open the gates and download the files. They differ from viruses in that they are not able to self-replicate, but they can still be very dangerous. They will often leave open a backdoor for a hacker to gain unfettered access to your systems. This can allow for the theft of sensitive or personal information. Trojan horses can also just sit there deleting files and destroying valuable data before you can secure it.

These All Sound Bad, What Can We Do?

The ANC Group is here to protect you and your business from threats like the ones we have discussed and many more. We believe in taking an approach to security that accounts for all the weaknesses and strengths of the tools at our disposal. It is a layered perspective where every defense covers for the vulnerabilities in another one, creating a closely-knit net of protection for your systems. We offer security services including:

Why Are Data Backup And Disaster Recovery Included In Security Services?

It’s true that data backup and disaster recovery plans are not technically classified as security services, but they play an essential role in securing your systems. Disaster recovery plans are designed to help your business survive things natural disasters, data breaches, and even just lost or misplaced files. When antivirus programs and firewalls fail, you will still have your critical business data and function secure in your backups as part of your overall business continuity planning and DR plan.

To learn more about our security services and how we can help protect your productivity, contact ANC Group today.