Identifying Malicious Activity on a Computer System

No matter what measures you take to protect against malicious activity on your computer systems and networks, there is no way to fully protect your company against cyberattacks and breaches. This means that you also must be able to determine when malicious activity, such as malware, viruses, and network-based attacks, has taken place so you can do what is necessary to defend against it and recover as quickly as possible.

Signs a Computer System Has Been Compromised

When a computer system is the target of malicious activity, there are some telltale signs. These include:

  • Computer running slowly or not running at all.
  • The appearance of popup messages.
  • The browser is redirected to an unknown site.
  • Threat warnings that appear on the screen.
  • The unauthorized removal or deletion of files.
  • Suspicious posts on social media accounts.

Ideally, you catch these malicious activities before they cause problems. Since those malicious attacks come through your network in a workplace setting, you need to start there to minimize the chance of an attack affecting any part of your system.

Monitor Your Network Around the Clock

The only way to be able to detect suspicious or malicious activity as early as possible is to monitor your network 24/7. Simply put, you won’t be able to determine if something is out of the ordinary if you don’t know what ordinary is. This means monitoring network traffic to detect when there is a change in the regular pattern of activity and to look for signs of any links, files, or actions that look suspicious.

Fortunately, there are several tools that are designed to monitor your network to detect any malicious or suspicious activity. The most effective tools are:

  • Intrusion Detection System (IDS) – IDS monitors systems and networks for any signs or patterns of known cyber threats. IDS acts as an alert system but does not take any action against detected threats. There are two types of IDS—Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS) and Host Intrusion Detection System (HIDS).
  • Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) – An IPS monitors patterns and detects anomalies like the IDS, but it also blocks suspicious activity in order to prevent cyberattacks.
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP) – DLP protects confidential information, such as credit card numbers and sensitive company data, by enforcing data handling policies that are based on regulatory compliance and organizational requirements and sending out alerts when these policies have been violated.
  • Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) – SIEM monitors and controls network activity to detect security incidents in real-time and send alerts to IT teams so they can take the required action to mitigate the threat.
  • Network Behavior Anomaly Detection (NBAD) – NBAD is designed to monitor a network for patterns so it can determine what normal network behavior and traffic look like. It can then detect variations in those patterns that may represent a threat.

Now more than ever, you must protect every computer and every other device and server connected to your network.

Contact Platinum Technologies today to find out how we can help you identify malicious activity on your computer systems or network.

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