Avoiding Malware Infections Requires Training, Vigilance, Proper Tools

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2014-02-10 Print this article Print

This remains a mystery since I rarely use Chrome. But it's entirely possible that there's only a tangential connection.

Still, Malwarebytes was free, and it worked. The next question was, how does it do this, and why is it that NIS missed them? I asked Doug Swanson, Malwarebytes CTO, to explain what was going on. "We have a couple of highly heuristic technologies," he said.

Swanson noted that Malwarebytes was at least 10 years newer than most other antivirus and antimalware vendors. "We have the benefit of history," he said. "We have time to look back at the kinds of malware that weren't being found."

Swanson said that while Malwarebytes uses definitions for known malware, it doesn't treat them as signatures. "As a practical matter we go after the malware that isn't being found by other products. To some degree this is a scale problem. It's part technology, part prioritization of zero-day stuff that others aren't getting. That's our niche."

The other reason that the product works so well against malware is that's all it does. Malwarebytes doesn't have a firewall; it doesn't look for viruses; and it doesn't fight spam. In addition, when the product performs a scan, it starts with the malware that eludes AV software, and leaves the viruses for the AV products.

But of course, the fight against malware works best when you catch the bad stuff before it does real harm. While the Pro version of Malwarebytes will monitor your system and prevent malware from running, everything works better if it's not there in the first place.

This is where training comes in. Many people, perhaps most, would have clicked on the link that I first got offering to resolve the problem. But doing so would have surely opened the door to the worst evils of the Internet. I needed to catch the malware before it could complete its mission.

Because I know that I should never click on an unexpected or unknown link, I knew to confirm that I had a legitimate message first. This is the lesson that needs to be taught throughout your organization and by all computer users everywhere. When something unexpected happens, don't just click.

Take the time to confirm it's legit, even if that means calling your support team. That means that you need to have someone in your organization who can be called, and who will respond. If you're going to ask your staff to hesitate before all is lost, they need someone who can take the necessary action or the teaching you do will be wasted.


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