What is Malware & Do I Need to Protect My Mac Against It?

If you are confuse about what is malware and When it comes to attacks on your computer and network, there’s no lack of the variants of “bad stuff” you’ll hear about.

From trojans to viruses to malware to ransomware, today’s offices have to be more vigilant than ever and ensure their firewall and other defenses can handle what’s coming at them. 

The two main types of software designed to catch and quarantine these threats are antivirus and anti-malware programs.

 

What’s the difference? Do you need both?  Those are common questions that our Security Services Team gets often.

We also hear from many of our Mac customers wondering whether they’re fine without virus protection on their iMac or MacBook or if they should worry just as much as Windows users about an infection.

Viruses are one of the top ongoing threats businesses face when it comes to their IT security, so understanding what you’re facing and how to protect against it will not only protect you from a dangerous data breach, it will also ensure your business health and wellbeing.

First, we’ll go through what the term “malware” actually means, then we’ll give some important information to all those Mac users out there about their virus protection.

What’s the Difference Between Malware and Viruses?

Malware and viruses are often used side-by-side, but actually a virus is a type of malware, which is just an overarching term for multiple types of malicious threats. So, a Ford is to an automobile as a virus is to malware.

And just like you can find multiple brands of autos out there, there are also several types of malware that you need to guard against, each with its own distinctions, and none of which are good.

In 2018, there were 75 million malware attacks detected on company servers.

The general term “Malware” encompasses all these types of malicious threats that can wreak havoc on your computer, server, and entire network.

Viruses

These are the term most commonly used for infectious threats. They attach themselves to clean file and infect them, then spread to other files, corrupting and sometimes deleting them.

Ransomware

This is one of the most expensive types of malware that companies can get. Ransomware encrypts or otherwise makes files unreadable.

Basically taking your files “hostage” so the hacker can demand a ransom to return them. The average cost to businesses that suffer a ransomware attack is $133,000. 

Adware

Not quite as malicious as some other types of malware, but incredibly annoying because it causes ads to pop up on your computer.

Spyware

An insidious form of malware, spyware is designed to fly under the radar so it can silently record keystrokes, take images, or otherwise spy on your system without you knowing it.

Trojans

Trojans are malicious code that disguise themselves as legitimate software. Using anti-malware that includes sandboxing is an effective way to guard against them.

Worms

This type of malwares isn’t happy with just a single computer, worms are designed to infect entire networks, moving from device to device.

Botnets

When you have whole networks of infected computers all under the control of a hacker, this is called a botnet. And it’s often used for distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against websites.

Do I Need to Use an Antivirus or Anti-Malware on a Mac?

First, let’s look at the difference between an antivirus and anti-malware. If you’re wondering which one you need to use to protect against the various forms of malware. The answer is that both offer similar protections.

Many antivirus and anti-malware programs provide the same protections against the wide variety of infectious threats out there. However, not all antivirus software may contain the protections needed for newer forms of malware. So you’ll want to check the features closely.

Related: Latest Data Breaches and Compromising of Data You Need to Know About

Now, let’s discuss Macs. For years, they flew under the malware radar and users didn’t feel the need to install any type of antivirus protection.

Unfortunately, those days are long gone, and Macs can become infected by malware, just like Windows computers can. In fact, they’ve never been immune to viruses.

It’s just that they were such a small piece of the overall operating system market share in the earlier days. That there weren’t nearly as many attacks against them.

But they can easily be infected and suffer the same consequences as Windows computers can. According to anti-malware maker, Malwarebytes, they’ve seen a growing number of threats targeting the Mac operating system over the last few years.

The fact that Mac users tend to have a false sense of security when it comes to virus infections have only made hackers bolder in pushing their threats out to the Mac OS X. 

The good news is that Mac users won’t have any trouble finding good anti-malware programs. As all the major brands offer both Windows and Mac versions.

Keep Your Devices Malware Free with Help from RCOR

Wondering what’s the best protection to use for your office? Aren’t sure if there might be a virus or spyware lurking on your computer?

Don’t leave it to chance! RCOR can do a full system scan and help you choose the protection that makes the most sense for your business.

Contact us today to get started at 919-313-9355 or reach us online anytime.