All you had to do was watch your local news near the end of 2017 to hear about the massive run up in price that Bitcoin investors were enjoying. The price has since plummeted well below the record highs that were seen in late 2017 and early 2018. However, that has not stopped many people from continuing to accumulate the digital currency in anticipation of another record price run.
What does digital currency have to do with your business? There is, of course, the transactional potential for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. These digital assets could change the way we do business and transact in the future. However, there is another aspect that IT professionals have to concern themselves with: Bitcoin mining malware.
Like many other types of malware, Bitcoin mining malware could affect your business’ ability to deliver service and connect with customers. This type of malware can sap productivity within your organization and eat away at your cash flow. The worst part is that you may not realize it is happening right under your nose.
What is Crypto Mining Malware?
Bitcoin is just one of many types of cryptocurrencies available for investors today. Many of these cryptocurrencies have various uses beyond simply paying for items or services online. Some cryptocurrencies aim to revolutionize banking transactions while others seek to provide monetary incentives for viewing advertisements online.
There are a number of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, which can be mined by users. Simply put, mining cryptocurrency involves using computer hardware to solve mathematical puzzles in order to verify groups of transactions known as “blocks.” As a reward for solving these puzzles, a small amount of cryptocurrency is awarded to the users who allow their hardware to be used.
So, what is crypto mining malware? As the name suggests, this malware is used to force the computers of unknowing victims to mine cryptocurrency. Computer processing power is used to verify blockchain transactions while the reward is sent to the hacker’s cryptocurrency wallet. Essentially, these hackers use a network of machines to mine cryptocurrency which reduces their investment while maximizing their profits.
Why is Bitcoin Mining Malware Bad for Business?
Bitcoin mining malware may seem less aggressive than other forms of malware. The malware operates in the background, often undetected, using a portion of your computer’s processing power. While this form of malware may not lock your files away from you like ransomware, the effects of Bitcoin mining malware can be far reaching.
First, there is the monetary cost of Bitcoin mining. Mining Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency can consume a lot of power. Not only does mining require computers to work harder than normal, but crypto mining malware may force computers to work all hours of the day. This cost will be reflected in the utility bills for your business. Plus, since computer processors are working so hard, there is the potential for these parts to fail earlier than expected. More frequent replacement of computer components is just another hit to the bottom line.
Next, there are productivity concerns that arise from cryptocurrency mining malware. If your computer’s processor cannot work to its full potential because a portion of that power is being used for crypto mining then that computer is not working at full capacity for your business. Over a short period the effects may be negligible. Over time, there is no telling how much potential productivity is lost due to infection by crypto mining malware.
Top Ways to Prevent Malware in Your Business
Crypto mining malware is just one aspect of malware protection that your business must be concerned with. Luckily, there are a number of effective ways to prevent malware from slowing down your operations.
The most effective way to stop malware in its tracks is employee education. Team members need to avoid unknown links or files sent in emails, especially if the sender is not known to the business. In addition, infected websites may attempt to hijack your browser and use your computer as a crypto mining machine.
Of course, some threats still sneak through the cracks. This is where managed network services can play an important role in the security of your company’s data and devices. Malware protection and monitoring is done 24/7 to ensure that Bitcoin mining malware doesn’t hold your business back from peak productivity.
With managed network services, security holes can be closed with regular patch updates. Technical support can be offered remotely to help users efficiently resolve issues and focus on the task at hand. With over 40 years of experience, we are ready to tackle the most complex security issues your business must contend with.
If you are concerned about crypto mining malware, ransomware, or any other digital threats that your business may face, reach out to our security experts at CDS Office Technologies.