Understanding the threat of Emotet for SMBs

Security -IT Support Manchester

With new viruses and malware being developed on a daily basis, it can be a real challenge for any SMB to keep up with the demands of cyber security. But some threats are absolutely necessary to defend against. One of these is the Emotet malware. But what is this, who does it target and how does it spread? Well, here at Creative Network Solutions, we are Manchester’s leading IT support and network services experts. From secure remote access services to business VoIP, we are the team you can count on. And this is our guide to everything you should know about the threat of Emotet for SMBs.

What is Emotet?

Emotet is a Trojan with worm like capabilities. What this means is that it enters a computer network hidden inside spam emails, malicious links or malicious document files. Once inside, the Trojan then reaches out and infects all connected computers on the system. This can be incredibly destructive and dangerous, leading to the theft of sensitive information and many problems for your company or business.

How does Emotet spread?

So, how exactly does this Emotet malware spread? Well, a lot of research has been carried out into this, and it seems that the primary distribution method for Emotet is through spam emails or malspam. In this instance, the Emotet malware identifies contacts in your contact list and then sends itself to your friends, family, coworkers and clients. Unfortunately, because the email is coming directly from your legitimate email address, that you use for personal and business correspondence, the emails look less like spam. This means that the recipients feel safe, are more inclined to click through on malicious URLs or to download infected files.

Once Emotet has gained access to the system, if a connected network is detected, the malware will spread using a list of common passwords to brute force entry to other connected systems. As a result, if your password policy is weak and the passwords themselves are weak, Emotet is likely to break through.

How can SMBs be protected from Emotet?

Emotet has a history of targeting individuals, companies and even government entities. So how can your small or medium sized business be protected from Emotet? Well, there are a number of steps to take and considerations to make, including:

  • Keeping security patches up to date- for software and operating systems alike, security patches absolutely must be installed as soon as possible once released. This will fix existing issues within the security, and will also safeguard against future malware developments, until the next patch is released.
  • Educating employees- by training your employees you can help them recognise potential malspam and respond accordingly to keep your business safe. This will also help prevent individuals working for your company from being attacked on personal accounts, and then bringing malware into the business network.
  • Strong passwords- creating a suitable and strong password policy can help to ensure that even if Emotet does get into your network, it will not be able to brute force into other systems or parts of the network, containing the issue and allowing you to resolve this without as much damage being caused.

For more information or advice, why not ask the experts today, here at Creative Network Solutions.