How a Botnet Works
What makes botnets so dangerous is the fact that you’re not dealing with a single threat; rather, you’re dealing with several computers or devices that have been infected and turned into bots, which are controlled remotely by hackers. As explained by CyberTrend, botnets are:

[…] a series of computers, or smartphones and tablets in the case of mobile bots, that have been infected with a self-replicating backdoor Trojan that lets cybercriminals force the network to perform unauthorized commands, en masse. Once infected with such malware, a computer or mobile device becomes a single node in the botnet, referred to as a zombie or bot. The strength of the botnet is in the numbers. Cybercriminals use a system known as a command-and-control computer to issue commands and distribute the malware.

In more basic terms, the botnet is the very definition of a zombie horde; it absorbs more devices by infecting them over time, eventually becoming a huge force to be reckoned with. The devices are then coerced into performing all sorts of functions, like spreading the malware to new systems, generating spam, collecting or stealing information, and so on. One of the more dangerous things that a huge botnet can do is perform a DDoS attack, which can overload servers with enough traffic to knock them offline. Immense downtime can lead to wasted time and expenses that can otherwise be avoided.

Why Mobile Devices?
While the desktop and workstation platforms can take advantage of comprehensive security solutions that are specifically designed to keep threats out, mobile device security often doesn’t work in the same way. Plus, when you consider the fact that many people forget that smartphones are viable hacking options, mobile devices can be considered at risk of being turned into botnets. With Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) being a popular office trend, malware, viruses, and spyware can be spread at an even greater rate than before.

What To Do
The most basic way to keep your devices from being turned into part of a botnet is to ensure that your security solutions are both comprehensive and up to date. Taking a proactive stance against online threats can help your systems stay away from botnet infections, and more importantly, your devices will avoid becoming pawns that only make the infection worse. Your mobile devices should be using some sort of security solution, and all apps used on the device should stay updated. Using the most recent versions of apps can minimize your business’s security risks.

Mobile botnets are growing in number, but the PC variant is much more common. You should be prepared to protect your business’s assets from hacking attacks of all kinds. A Unified Threat Management solution is the ideal solution to your network security needs. It can keep malware and viruses from accessing the network, clean up potential threats, put a halt to spam, and block malicious or time-wasting web content. To learn more, give us a call at (469) 7-ASPIRE.

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