One of the biggest threats to businesses these days is from “malware”. This traditionally referred to computer viruses but now covers a wide range of “cyber nasties” which are becoming extremely sophisticated with the capability to steal banking and other passwords from the computers it infects. Malware is mostly spread through spam e-mail or phishing messages but can also get onto your system as a result of browsing dodgy web sites.
So how do you know if you have been infected? A slow computer and erratic cursor movements are warning signs your system has a bug. Text-based chat windows may appear and you may notice illegal money transfers from your accounts if the network has been penetrated.
What can you do to protect yourself against infection?
- Do not open mail you are unsure about even if you have anti-virus packages installed on your computers and smartphones.
- Have strong passwords and don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. Always use a pop-up blocker and only download free software from trusted sites.
- Install a quality firewall such as a WatchGuard Firebox which can help guard against infection. Be aware that simply deploying a firewall will not provide sufficient protection, it must be properly configured and kept current.
- Install a comprehensive anti-virus solution such as those supplied by Kaspersky or Symantec and ensure it is loaded on every device connected to your network. Configure the software so that updates are automatically applied to combat new malware as soon as it is released onto the World Wide Web.
- Ensure your entire system is backed up using a reliable solution and test it regularly to make sure you can restore data.
While each of these actions and tools will help protect your business from Malware threats it is important to implement a comprehensive system-wide security strategy.