Microsoft Office documents containing macros can be hazardous to the overall security of your network. Macros are bits of computer code used to automatically perform repeated tasks and historically have been notorious vehicles for malware. With more recent events such as the outbreak of ransomware and cryptojacking, the latest versions of Office include security features that will protect you from malfeasant macros.
Microsoft Office documents — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, as well as others — can contain embedded code written in a programming language known as Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). The recent rise in cybercrime has given the general public several examples of how malicious hackers could manipulate VBA code to create macros that intentionally do damage. The act of embedding these macros in Office documents and distributing them online raises even more concern for the average internet user. Malicious consequences of malware may include deleting of files or hidden viruses that infect your entire network. Data breaches or the loss of important information may very well be the worst case scenario for many businesses.
Sharing document scripts and macros over email is also a habit you should try and break if this is something you are used to doing. You would have to download a file containing a malicious macro in order to actually be infected by it and in the rare situation of needing to accept these files via email, only run macros from people or organisations that you know and trust. Another good tip is to maintain the built-in macro security features and make sure that they are not disabled.
Like any other computer program, macros should only be run from sources you know and trust. Tightening up your email etiquette in the workplace may be a tedious task for some, but may prevent any losses in the future.