What is Malware Removal Software?

What is Malware Removal Software? post image

Malware removal software safeguards your business information technology against harmful software. In the world of cybersecurity, the term “malicious software” – better known as “malware”- describes any software, program, or code that is created to harm, disrupt, or hack into computer systems.

Antimalware proactively scans, identifies, and removes all instances of corrupt software found in your computer network. Not only does it remove malware, but it also weeds out and eliminates spyware, rootkits, ransomware, worms, and keystroke loggers. To do this, malware removal tools implement several strategies, including behaviour-based malware protection, signature-based malware detection, and sandboxing.

This guide will define why you need to implement antimalware software in your cybersecurity set-up.

The dangers of malware

Hackers and other cybercriminals leverage malware to infiltrate your computer system. The main danger of malware is that a hacker could use it to successfully gain access to your sensitive data. Once accessed, they could copy, corrupt, and even destroy it.

From a business point of view, having your computer systems infected by malware poses a serious security threat. Not only does it compromise your employee data, but also puts your customer’s private information at risk.

Cybercriminals could also takeover your core computer functions and make it impossible for you to conduct your regular business processes. This can lead to costly data recovery projects and a lot of downtime.

Malware is implanted in computer networks without the user knowing through a variety of means. This can include corrupt email attachments, malicious websites, phishing attacks, compromised credentials, pirated software, and faulty filesharing activities.

Another danger of malware is it going undetected, and your data being corrupted in the long-term. The main way you can prevent this from happening is to invest in a sophisticated antimalware solution.

What does antimalware do?

When you install antimalware, it runs in the background of your computer operations, continuously scanning for threats. This provides you with real-time protection and assurance that your computer system is always safeguarded.

Whenever you receive a new file or click on a link, antimalware software scans them and will alert you to any potential threats. Plus, the software will outright prevent you from visiting malware-containing websites.

If malware is detected, premium antimalware systems will provide you with updates on the level and severity of which. It will also give you a timeframe of how long it’ll take to remove it.

Not only is this software constantly scanning, but it should also be constantly updating. New threats are emerging every day, so antimalware software can become quickly outdated. Malware protection vendors should constantly be researching emerging security threats and updating their antimalware system as necessary.

What does antimalware protect against?

Antimalware protects against a whole host of digital attacks, including the following:

  • Trojan viruses – A trojan virus disguises itself as a legitimate software package or operational program. They can appear on file-sharing websites, attached to a fake email, or as part of a spoof chat message. The text surrounding the download link will appear legitimate, which tricks the web user on the other end into downloading it.
  • Adware – When downloading new software, you can install adware by mistake. Once installed, this type of malware displays spammy popups and ads. This can happen continuously or at least regularly, and quickly becomes irritating. Adware can also slow down your computer and even hijack your network – particularly if you click on and interact with the pop ups.
  • Spyware – Spyware is a type of malware that does not show itself in the form of popups. Instead, it secretly monitors your usage, steals your data, and reports information back to a third-party. The stolen information can then be used to infiltrate your system.

How does antimalware work?

To effectively detect and quarantine your computer system, most antimalware platforms implement three main strategies: sandboxing, in addition to behaviour and signature-based malware detection.

Sandboxing

When your antimalware system detects potentially suspicious object, it will isolate it in a “sandbox”. This sandbox features its own operating program (OS) which it uses to test how the object responds to basic processes. The sandbox will give the object access to a limited number of resources and ask it to complete commands. Should the object attempt to reach for other resources while carrying out these functions, the antimalware will consider it malicious and proceed to terminate it.

Signature-based malware detection

This type of malware detection involves a simple form of analysing the attributes of potential viruses. The antimalware system will have a logbook of malicious signatures. If it locates an object featuring a malicious signature, it will be blocked and eradicated.

Behaviour-based malware protection

Instead of using signatures to identify suspicious software, this detection method relies primarily on how objects behave. Machine learning is leveraged by the antimalware tool to know and understand what normal software activity looks like. Any deviations from this activity are highlighted and acted upon.

Heuristic analysis

Heuristic analysis is like a combination of signature-based detection and sandboxing. First, a static analysis on suspicious objects is conducted in which the antimalware analyses the attached computer coding. It then compares this coding to records of suspicious software it has maintained in its database.

If enough of the coding matches up, the object will be isolated in a sandbox. It will then be observed for attempts to self-replicate or overwrite files.

Viruses vs. malware

Both antimalware and antivirus programs are used to scan your computer and safeguard it against harmful coding. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they don’t technically refer to the same type of malicious programs.

Technically, a virus is a type of self-replicating code that can cause damage to your computer network. It does so by infecting programs with code and replicating itself. Viruses are sent with the intent of disrupting your workflows, corrupting your data, and gaining access to your datasets. In a sense, a virus is a type of malware.

True to its title, a virus embeds itself in your system and multiplies.

Malware, on the other hand, refers to malicious files, software, programs, and code collectively. It is seen as more of an umbrella term, including more sophisticated threats such as zero-day exploits and malvertising (as in, malicious advertising).

Antivirus vs. antimalware

Antivirus software focuses on identifying and removing self-replicating code. More comprehensive antivirus systems also boast ad blockers and firewalls, to provide an extra layer of protection from harmful code.

Antimalware, on the other hand, is concerned with all harmful programs and software, regardless of their intent or method of distribution. Antimalware, therefore, could be described as the most comprehensive option. For example, malware protection software can combat spyware, while an antivirus software cannot. 

Maximise your IT protection with the help of YourShortlist

Clearly, only having antivirus installed is no longer sufficient. You need a more comprehensive antimalware solution to keep your network free of all malicious software and programs.

However, the specific malware removal software you need depends on your specific processes, programs, and cybersecurity measures.

This is where YourShortlist come in.

We can listen to your specific cybersecurity needs and use them to create a bespoke shortlist of appropriate providers.

Contact us today!