Before I begin I would like to state this is a generalization of handling a malware infection. There are many other steps and precautions to be aware of.
A malware infection can destroy a company, business or even individuals data/information. A malware infection could also allow private information to become exposed to the publics eye. According to enterprise.comondo.com “Malware is a type of software created with the intent of damaging the victim's computer, stealing private information or spying on a computer without the consent of the user.”. A malware infection could infect a machine by many methods such as a unsecure connections, untrusted downloads or by being directly uploaded by an employee/untrusted source with access.
There are many ways to prevent a malware infection from infecting a machine. There are always methods and tools to prevent a already infected machine from spreading malware to neighboring machines on the network. The most common methods most companies and individuals can use would be a trustworthy and secure antivirus. If an anti-virus is already in affect and more security is chosen to be added there are several different tips for I.T individuals. Some tips according to blog.netwrix.com are to “use secure authentication methods” such as a secure password, mutli-factor authentication, or biometric tools. Other common tips for overall security would be to keep software updated, control direct access to systems, or to overall implement email/browser protection.
If a malware infection is already present on the machine than you should evaluate the steps above afterwards however there are many things to do to handle the infection. First and foremost, most operating systems have something called “safe mode”, this allows a boot of the operating system purely using the essential tools required for the operating system to run. Once in the operating systems safe mode you can look through the programs, applications and other downloaded material and evaluate what is causing the issue. You should than disable connections to the machine to avoid more infection/leaked information, if the issue still is present than you can clean/re format the hard drive after important data is backed up. According to us.norton.com “Depending on the severity of the attack, it might be necessary to reinstall the operating system of your computer. Some threats are very sophisticated and can hide deep in the system using rootkit techniques, meaning they'll go unnoticed by antivirus software.”.
Comodo. (2018, July 28). Malware Infection. Comodo Enterprise. https://enterprise.comodo.com/malware-infection.php
How to Prevent Malware Attacks: 10 Security Tips. (2020, June 12). Netwrix Blog. https://blog.netwrix.com/2020/06/12/malware-prevention/
Norton. (2018, June 8). What to do if you’re a victim of malware. https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-how-to-what-to-do-if-youre-a-victim-of-malware.html