When your computer starts acting strange and maybe stops working completely, it’s time to see what’s behind it. Is it an intruder, a virus, or something else? Many people assume that when their computer isn’t working right, a virus must be to blame. But, that’s not always the case. 

Other things can invade your computer and cause damage and inconvenience you in the process. As we look at the difference between an intruder and a virus, we’re also going to explore the different types of viruses and intruders and how you can check if your computer is impacted by one.

For over 25 years, Strategic Systems – A Division of CEI has supplied top-quality managed network security to companies all over the Raleigh – Durham area.

Our partnership with WatchGuard allows us to offer flexible, powerful products that enable you to keep your network security ahead of the competition.

WatchGuard provides a comprehensive line of firewall and VPN appliances, as well as advanced server and client security solutions. With WatchGuard, you can be confident that your network is safe from the latest threats.

Intruders vs. Viruses

While you want to avoid both a computer virus and an intruder, it’s important to know the difference between the two. This can help you determine the best way to remedy the situation and hopefully not lose all of your files.

What is an Intruder?

A computer intruder is anyone or anything that tries to get access to any part of your computer system. An intruder is typically referred to as a hacker. Hackers are known to use automated computer programs to compromise your computer’s security system. They are very smart and know a lot about technology and security. Intruders breach users’ privacy and try to steal confidential information. They typically try to sell this information to third parties.

What is the difference between a virus and malware?

Both viruses and malware are malicious software that can infect your computer and cause serious damage. However, there are some key differences between the two.

Viruses are designed to replicate themselves and spread to other computers, often without the user’s knowledge.

In contrast, malware is typically installed by the user, usually unknowingly, in order to perform a specific action such as stealing information or displaying advertising.

While viruses used to be more common, malware is now the more prevalent threat due to the popularity of online advertising and the ease with which users can download it. However, both viruses and malware can be extremely damaging.

Types of intruders in network security

Computer intruders are basically divided into the following three categories:

Masquerader

These intruders are not authorized to use the system but still find ways to exploit the user’s privacy and confidential information.

Misfeasor

A misfeasor is authorized to use the system but misuses its access and privileges. 

Clandestine User

These intruders have supervision powers over the entire system and misuse this control. Clandestine users typically use their power for financial gains.

No matter the type of intruder, each one can cause severe damage to your computer and your personal information.

How do Intruders Get Into Your Computer?

Intruders can get into your computer in a number of ways. One common method is through the use of malware, which is software designed to infiltrate your system and give attackers access to your data.

Another way intruders can gain access to your computer is through phishing attacks, which involve tricking you into revealing sensitive information such as your login credentials.

Finally, intruders can also take advantage of security vulnerabilities to gain access to your system. Once they have gained access, intruders can then install programs that allow them to spy on your activities or even take control of your computer.

Hackers also use other means to try to get into computers. This can include:

  • Using default passwords
  • Using personal information such as names, family members’ names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.
  • Attacking the host’s connection and remote user to gain entry through the connection gateway
  • Trying combinations of all applicable information relevant to the user

Knowing the different ways that hackers can get into your computer is important so that you can take action to prevent them. This can include creating stronger passwords and better protecting your files.

Types of intrusion detection systems

There are several types of intrusion detection systems that can protect your network. These include:

Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS)

This is set up across the network at a specific point and monitors the traffic on the network from all devices. If any intruders are detected, a warning alert is sent to the administrator.

Host Intrusion Detection System (HIDS)

These are installed on independent networked devices and check whether system files are misplaced. It will take a screen capture of the current file system and verify it with the previous one.

Protocol-based IDS (PIDS)

Protocol-based intrusion detection systems are set up at the front end of the server to interpret the protocol between the server and the user. It monitors the HTTPS server regularly.

Application Protocol-based IDS (APIDS)

This type of intrusion detection system is set up within a group of servers. It interprets communication with the applications within the server to see if an intruder is there.

Hybrid Intrusion Detection System

This is a mixture of two different intrusion detection systems by combining host agents with network information.

Methods of Intrusion Detection Systems

There are two main types of intrusion detection methods. These include:

Signature-based Intrusion Detection Method

This method examines the network traffic and detects attack patterns. It can vary the network traffic with the log data to determine if an intrusion has occurred.

Anomaly-based Intrusion Detection Method

The anomaly-based intrusion detection method finds new and unknown suspicious attacks and any policy breaches that the signature-based method does not.

There is also the option of using a hybrid method that combines signature-based and anomaly-based methods.

What is a Computer Virus?

A computer virus is a malicious code or program that is written to change the way a computer operates. It is designed to spread from host to host and can replicate itself.

It inserts or attaches itself to a legitimate program or document that supports macros to execute the code. By doing this, a virus can damage the software and destroy data.

How to check if your computer has a virus

You may want to check if your computer has a virus if you begin to notice one or several of these symptoms:

  • Frequent pop-up windows

These pop-ups may want you to visit unusual sites or encourage you to download bogus software programs.

  • Mass emails being sent from your account

When you notice emails are being sent out to many people without your knowledge, your computer may have a virus.

  • Frequent crashes

A virus can severely damage your hard drive and cause it to freeze and crash a lot.

  • Slower than normal performance

When you notice your computer is taking forever to complete a task, you may want to check for a virus.

Different types of viruses

There are many different types of computer viruses. Here are five of the most common ones:

  1. Resident Virus

This one attacks your RAM and system operations.

  1. Multipartite Virus

This infects the entire system by performing unauthorized actions in your folders, programs, and operating system.

  1. Browser Hijacker

This virus infects your browser and redirects you to malicious websites.

  1. Overwrite Virus

By overwriting files to infect entire folders, files, and programs, this virus can do severe damage to your computer.

  1. File Infector

This virus slows down programs and damages system files by targeting executable files.

If you discover your computer has one of these viruses or a different one, you want to get the problem taken care of as soon as possible to prevent even further damage.

How to remove a virus from your computer

One of the easiest ways to get rid of a virus from your computer is to use anti-virus software or service. This works by performing a scan to detect the problem and giving you onscreen instructions to fix it.

You can also remove a virus from your computer by:

  • Using the Task Manager
  • Using a Command Prompt
  • Using Safe Mode

Removing a computer virus can be complicated if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s best to consult an expert who can make sure that the process is being done correctly.

Get a Quote On Our Managed Network Security Services

Our partnership with WatchGuard means that we offer our customers a flexible, customized security system that can protect you against current threats and future-proof your network security against new threats.

With our flexible payment plans and on-demand security options, you can have the confidence to know that you’re not overspending to protect your data and your company.

Strategic Systems – A Division of CEI proudly offers Managed Network Security Services to RaleighCaryApexChapel-HillDurhamHolly SpringsMorrisvilleSanfordGarnerWake ForestClayton, and Smithfield areas. 

If you would like to get a quote on our managed network security services or other offerings such as Managed IT, complete the form below or call our IT department directly at 919-899-1451 today!