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When something compromises the health of your computer and device network, it can feel like your business’ world has been turned upside down. The best malware prevention for small businesses starts with a strong defense system, which includes an understanding of what, exactly, the threats to your cybersecurity entail.
Of the several varieties of malware attacks, today we are breaking down two common types that AppGuard can defend your critical digital infrastructure from: viruses and worms. These sound like two nasty things that you don’t want infecting your body or your computer, right? Here we share the basics of what distinguishes these two malware types.
Both are malware types and can lurk in downloaded files.
Viruses and worms — these are just as much technological villains as they are biological ones. They are both types of malicious software, or malware for short. Viruses and worms take advantage of similar vulnerabilities on your computer to gain access: harmful online downloads like spam email attachments.
Infected files — like images or text documents — can also have viruses or worms lurking, although downloaded files and network connection weaknesses are the most common point of entry for worms. Viruses can spread through script programming, macro programming, or a computer’s boot sector.
Both can spread to other devices. Unfortunately, worms and viruses have the power to cause network-wide havoc at your business, if they aren’t contained and dealt with on the impacted device.
How do viruses and worms spread between computers? In some cases, this could be through infected files being unwittingly shared among colleagues, such as through email attachments or a USB flash drive. In other cases, all the malware needs is a common internet connection among your devices to start hopping from one computer to another.
A worm can spread and do damage on its own.
This is one of the most important distinctions between a virus and a worm. Once a worm has made a home of your computer, it can start producing copies of itself that can then spread throughout your device network without a user triggering any sort of event, like opening a file.
Worms can exponentially replicate and take over any computers and servers that are connected to the same network, spreading damage like wildfire.
A virus needs a host to activate it before doing damage.
A virus, on the other hand, while not to be taken lighter than a worm, can’t become active until it is triggered by the computer user. Basically, worms will start doing damage regardless of whether or not a human opens a file or runs a bad script, but this sort of action is required to activate a virus.
Malware prevention is a crucial first step.
All this talk about malicious software seizing your device network can be frightening, but with the right help, it doesn’t have to be. An advanced threat protection program is an absolute must for entities small and large that value the fortitude of their networks.
Have more questions about the ways AppGuard, our malware disruptor program, can serve your organization? Chat with a security expert or tune in to our next monthly AppGuard demonstration webinar to get started.