There are known areas in a computer where anti-virus programs cannot detect or secure your device. Can you identify the areas your anti-virus program falls short? The staff at Infiniwiz of Rolling Meadows, Illinois get asked all the time by clients and small business owners if anti-virus is enough protection for their company computers. It’s surprising for them to discover their virus protection does not protect or secure their computers 100% of the time, leaving them and their sensitive information exposed.

What Are The Areas Anti-Virus Software Cannot Protect Your Computer?

Smaller businesses tend to believe; because they use a phone carrier or cable company provided anti-virus software, can claim they have complete protection. Unfortunately, what these business owners are not aware of; these programs cannot detect what is unknown, or if the intruder was using an encrypted, polymorphic code to avoid detection to get into their computer.

Polymorphic systems are designed to change each time they run, but the code’s function never changes. Think of it like this; a skilled basketball player is well known to sink every ball he shoots. All opponents know this and try to prevent him from doing it again, but at the last moment, instead of shooting, he passes the ball to a teammate nobody saw near the hoop, made the shot and got in the basket.

Even though the player changed his approach, the result was always to shoot the ball and score. That is how Polymorphic codes operate and how intruders get past anti-virus programs. Anti-virus software knows what is coming and protects the device from intrusion based on what it knows, except at the last moment, the code changes direction, gets passed detection, and into the computer.

Here are four common areas that are still used with great success to get into your computer and infrastructure system, even when you have the latest anti-virus protection:

  • Phishing Attacks
  • Email Spoofing
  • Ransomware
  • No Backups

What Are Phishing Attacks?

What do you know about Social Engineering and what it can make you do when initiated? When it comes to getting into your computer, it is a form of psychological manipulation that deceives or tricks you into performing an action or divulging confidential information without you knowing what is going on.

Phishing schemes are a type of social engineering attack on you and your information. The action intends to:

  • Steal your data
  • Your login credentials
  • Your business and personal credit card numbers

That happens when the attacker, is pretending to be as a trusted individual or organization. They instruct, or trick the unsuspecting person into opening:

  • An email,
  • Instant message, or
  • Text message.

The next and final step is to have the recipient click on a malicious link inside the email or message, and the following happens:

  • Installation of malware
  • Freezing the computer system
  • Revealing sensitive information

A phishing attack will have devastating results if it reaches the final step. For businesses, organizations, and individuals, they can expect unauthorized purchases, stolen funds, and identify theft.

What Is Email Spoofing?

When an email is sent, from an unknown source; but is deliberately disguised, as a recognized source, to the email recipient, they got spoofed. An example of this is when you get an email from what you think is from your bank. But as it turns out, the email is forged and is impersonating your bank’s email look, tone, and right down to links back to your bank’s website.

How an email spoof gets into your inbox undetected is due to the internet standard for electronic mail transmission. Also known as Simple Mail Transfer Protocol or (SMTP). The core of SMTP does not offer authentication of emails, and that’s what makes it easy for you to receive imitation or forged emails.

When you open a spoofed email, you will see in the message a request for you to provide personal information. One of the most frequent requests asked for is your account number for verification. Once the email spoofer has your account number they will use that information for:

  • Identity theft purposes
  • Accessing your bank account
  • Changing your contact details
  • Opening other accounts in your name

If you do receive a spoofed email and acted on it, also note some spoofed emails come with other threats like Trojans or other viruses. These programs will cause significant damage to your computer and may launch unexpected activities, giving remote access, deleting your files and much more.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type or form of malicious software created from cryptovirology. Cryptovirology is a legitimate field of study. That type of education shows the user how to use cryptography to write and create powerful malicious software.

As the title states, Ransomware threatens to publish the victim’s data or never give access to it unless a ransom gets paid. Ransomware attacks are usually sent out using a Trojan computer program also disguised as a legitimate file. The file is designed to convince the recipient into downloading or opening an email attachment.

Some ransomware only locks your system, but trained individuals, like the staff at Infiniwiz of Rolling Meadows, Illinois, know how to unlock and reverse the process. But when it comes to using the cryptoviral extortion technique the victim faces this:

  • Encrypts the victim’s files
  • Files are not accessible
  • Demands for ransom
  • Decryption key offered after payment

What Happens When There Are No Backups?

Should your business ever fall prey to a cyber attack, where your data’s stolen, or worse encrypted and your files were not accessible, and there was a ransom demand, and you have no backups, recovery is virtually impossible.

However, those companies that are always backing up their data, in the cloud and off-site, not exposed to a cyber threat, if and when that attack takes place, you will be able to recover, because all your files were backed up. Your recovery time will be quicker.

In all four of these scenarios anti-virus software programs, provided by phone carriers or cable companies cannot offer complete computer security.  Ultimate computer security is about a layered approach with backup business continuity awareness and training.

Like this article? Check out, Are You Safe From A Cyber Attack? (Business Owner Information) and DON’T GET HACKED – 10 STATS THAT WILL SURPRISE YOU & 5 WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS or Cyber Security Returns on Investment (Questions/Answers) and discover more.