Malvertising: Increased Threat From Malware?

Malware, the pernicious threat, has a new form: malvertising, or "malicious advertising." What is most disturbing about this form of malware is that you don't always need to click on a piece of malvertising to infect your computer; in some cases, just mousing over a malicious ad during your web browsing is enough to unleash harm.

Malvertising: The New Threat

Malvertisements contain malicious snippets of code, but they look just like the regular online ads that one is used to seeing on webpages. Clicking or mousing on one of these ads infects your web browser with malware. If you continue to use the device without realizing that anything is wrong, your network could become affected. In a networked environment, one infected device can wreak havoc within the organization.

Once malvertising has infiltrated a device, the malicious software runs behind the scenes, looking to gain access to the network. The malware could gain access to sensitive information, including confidential data, financial records, user passwords and accounts, or other critical assets.  

Preventing Malvertising

Preventing the spread of malvertising requires a persistent effort on all fronts. From the development front, web designers, web users, and ad providers must work together with security experts to develop malvertising detection techniques. In addition, awareness must be created inside the organization – but it can be difficult for users to even realize they've been infected since malvertisements don't appear any different from regular ads.

Unfortunately, malvertising can infiltrate organizations that are protected by traditional firewalls, which means that this common first-line defense is not enough to protect your organization. Simply having a traditional firewall and trusting that it will keep out attackers, or relying on anti-virus software to protect user computers, is not enough.

Next Generation Firewall

Defense in depth must be considered and new security measures evaluated to protect the organization. Next-generation firewalls (NGFW) are one solution that offer users greater protection and is an important layer of an effective defense. NGFW move beyond traditional network and web filtering, and allow IT teams greater control over access parameters. Because these firewalls use built-in redundancy, they can isolate potential threats to prevent a compromised device from spreading malicious code throughout the network.

To achieve security and peace of mind, consider working with a systems integrator that has demonstrated security experience and will find the right solution to fit your unique organizational requirements. Patriot Technologies partners with "best in class" technologies and provides the expertise and knowledge to protect your most critical assets.