What's the difference between malware and ransomware? A very crisp answer!

The threats and dangers in the network are diverse. The terms for the various cyber threats are correspondingly diverse. There is a jungle of similar yet different terms, categories and classifications. You quickly lose track of things or confuse similar terms. Therefore, in the following article, we will clarify a key topic in the field - the difference between malware and ransomware.

What is malware?

The term malware is made up of “malicious” and “software” and consequently describes harmful software. So it's about malicious software that deliberately causes damage. Malware is an umbrella term for all different cyber threats such as viruses or Trojans.

Accordingly, one often speaks of malware. Malware and malicious software have exactly the same name.

"Causes damage" can mean a lot here. It can be, for example, attacks on the protection goals of information security. That is, malware does damage by destroying the integrity, confidentiality, or availability of your data. But the damage to your IT infrastructure is also conceivable. Just as there are numerous types of malware, there can be different damage scenarios.

What is ransomware?

As already mentioned, malware is the umbrella term. Ransomware, on the other hand, is a specific type of malware. Ransomware means something like blackmail software (Ransom Means). That said, ransomware is the type of malware that is aimed at blackmail. As a rule, the ransomware encrypts your data or locks your PC. A ransom demand will then be made, for which you will (possibly) have your data decrypted in return.

At this point, however, it should be noted that it is better not to pay such ransom demands! You have no guarantee that this will actually bring your data back to you. In the worst-case scenario, your money is gone and your data is still encrypted. Better contact an expert! For example, in such a case you can contact the cyber defense. You should also call in the police, who will then initiate investigations if necessary.

Apart from the usual security measures (firewall, virus protection, etc.), a functioning backup & restore concept helps against ransomware. Should you fall victim to ransomware, you can then easily restore your data from the backup and do not have to go to the mercy of blackmailers. (On this World Backup Day AOMEI Giveaway awesome Premium Backup software, you can check out if that is still available for you here).  In the backup concept, however, make sure that your backup is protected against a ransomware attack. Use, for example, the SEP Sesam Backup, which runs on Linux and is largely safe from attacks, or you back up in the cloud. A simple backup on USB hard drives, especially those that are not physically separated from the PC, is of no use at all. These are simply encrypted with an attack. Here you can download premium backup software for free.

Difference between ransomware and malware

In a nutshell, malware means malware and describes all kinds of malicious software. Ransomware is a subtype of malware and stands for blackmail software. The cyber criminals who use ransomware aim to encrypt your data or lock your PC and then demand a ransom for your data.


You should now know the difference between ransomware and malware. But in addition to the terminology, it is of course primarily about protecting yourself against malware and, in this sense, against ransomware. I would like to use the conclusion here to come to very special ransomware related to the topic . And Emotet! Emotet is ransomware and is currently one of the greatest threats to companies. However, there are also effective protective measures against Emotet, which we have put together for you in a guide. With this, you can protect your company against Emotet!

Post a Comment