Scams, malware, and preventative measures: advice from Michael Sherwood

Scams, malware, and preventative measures: advice from Michael Sherwood

Sarah Brown by Sarah Brown on

The second webinar in our Essentials of Business Security series is now available! In this video, Matt talks with Michael Sherwood from Malwarebytes about scams, malware, and what you can do to protect your business.


Michael’s journey to Malwarebytes began with an interest in technology and an Apple IIc in ‘84. From there, he joined the US military, where in the mid-90s (the Windows NT era) he found his feet in cryptography. Today, he is VP of Enterprise Online at Malwarebytes, and we’re thrilled that he’s bringing his expert insight to our latest webinar.

To help keep your business safe from scams and malware, we’ve put together five key points from our chat for you to take away and consider.

The landscape is shifting

Michael highlights that in the past ransomware has been mostly an annoyance, rather than malicious. However, the focus has shifted: attacks have become more advanced, and it’s all about making money.

The good news is that cybersecurity solutions are keeping up and getting better at detecting scams, fraud, and phishing attempts.

Everyone is at risk

Cyber breaches and scams are on the rise. A recent global survey indicates that more than 60% of organizations were affected by a security event in the last year.

Use of ransomware is no longer only focused on attacking major organizations and corporations — it’s just as likely to hit a small business or independent shop.

If a few small shops pay up, attackers will likely widen their net and send ransomware to as many similar businesses as possible. The larger the audience, the higher the chances are that someone will fall for their scam.

The Federal Trade Commission has put out a helpful guide for small businesses on what to look out for to avoid getting scammed.

A “C” in your job title ups your risk

Owners, executives, and C-suite level employees hold the keys to the business, making them a hot target for scammers and phishers. Matt notes that when he moved to a C-level position, the number of scam and phishing emails increased.

Scammers may pose as a coworker or a colleague to bypass your defenses, in the hope that they’ll be able to trick you into giving up your credentials.

Implement the basics

Having the right security software in place is your best defense. At a minimum, you should install anti-virus and anti-malware software on all employee machines.

Additionally, research the right password manager, two-factor authentication, and email services for your business. Consider hiring an IT professional to lead your security efforts too.

Educate your team

After the tools are in place, your employees need to know how to use them. Humans can be a weak link in your security chain, but the right training increases their strength. Educating your team on security basics, best practices, and how to stop phishing attempts is one of the best investments you can make.

Annual security assessments and pen testing help you to find knowledge gaps and weaknesses in your system. From there, you can create a comprehensive training plan.

Malwarebytes also has a security blog that highlights important events in the security world. They focus on thought leadership and take the time to break down how and why breaches happen, and what you should do if you’re affected.

What’s up next

If you enjoyed this chat with Michael, sign up to find out about our upcoming webinars. They’re the best way to learn what’s possible with 1Password.

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