Worms have been around since the dawn of mainstream computation. Often spread by local area users unintentionally through file downloads, this form of a threat acts much like a virus in the human body would — relying on itself to duplicate and eventually take over your entire network.
Unfortunately, worms don’t get the attention they deserve in 2023. Many network admins and managers may assume that their users know “not to click the link.” However, the assumption isn’t enough, especially as hackers have gotten savvier with their takedown methods and strategies.
Below, we’re discussing the problems that worms can pose to your organization and different methods of prevention that you can begin using with your team to mitigate your risk potential.
Why are worms (still) a problem?
There are many different forms of havoc a worm can wreak on your systems and networks. You can see mass file deletion, performance issues from the strain that replication can take on your machine, identity theft and total device failure — all of which can happen with a single errant click.
What’s more, is that the delivery systems for worms are changing. While they used to mainly stay hidden in chain emails and suspicious file attachments, we’ve seen them spring up in a few unexpected locations. Some of these include places like:
- IMs on social media services (i.e. Messenger)
- Smart devices (such as tablets, smartphones, or anything that connects to community or shared networks)
- Fractional drives (such as a thumb drive)
- Torrent systems and downloads (both paid and unpaid)
With so many forms of delivery, it can be difficult to track what your team members might know (and don’t) about cyber safety. That’s why ongoing education is critical to reducing your overall risk profile.
How can organizations lower their risk potential for worms and similar breaches?
While there are a variety of threats out there, there are an equal amount of fixes and preventative measures that can help you to keep your devices and networks protected. We recommend taking the following steps to help reduce your organizational risk profile:
- Adopt a custom/full-spectrum antivirus software. If you can afford it, you might consider upgrading your antivirus to something more comprehensive and custom. You can’t always rely on human intervention and awareness to keep your network safe — but tools such as ongoing scans across your device and network, plus a pretty hearty firewall, are two great places to start.
- Create ongoing training opportunities. People are inherently good learners. They just need the right tools to do it with. Creating ongoing learning opportunities that cater to all learning styles can increase adoption and awareness overall.
- Make a culture of safety. Mistakes happen when people are too unsure of themselves or embarrassed to ask questions. Creating a culture of safety can help you to get the most out of your risk management tools and keep your organization and network safer.
Looking for extra support? Connect with the team at CHIPS today. We’re here to make your security system work for you.