Malware attacks against businesses are on the rise, but does your company have the preventative measures in place to be able to deal with them?
There are lots of different ways that businesses can fall foul of malicious software, particularly as attackers know that the data held by businesses is extremely valuable. Data security can be crucial to the survival of a company, especially if client data is compromised. Ransomware attacks have skyrocketed over the past couple of years, however the more “traditional” types of viruses can still pose significant threats to your company.
With strong anti-malware practices in place, you can avoid catastrophic consequences though. Here are some simple, but fundamental steps you should take to safeguarding your business and data against malicious attacks…
Patching your software and updating your operating systems ensures that you have the most up to date protection against viruses. Most small updates won’t make any changes to how you use these programs on a day-to-day basis, but more often than not will introduce up-to-date protections against malicious software as well as performance improvements.
Without updating, you leave yourself open to new types of attacks and viruses. Popular pieces of software, such as Microsoft Windows, are key targets for hackers as they are used by millions of people around the world. As soon as an update to any piece of software is available, you should take the time to download it. If you have a large number of machines which all require updating, you may need to look into software and update management; this will take the stress and confusion away from keeping your IT up-to-date.
Install Anti-Virus Software
We can’t put enough emphasis on having strong anti-virus programs installed on your business’s machines. It doesn’t matter whether you are a small start up, or a large organisation employing hundreds, if a virus is installed on just one of your PCs, it can have huge consequences for your entire business. Anti-virus software is a crucial tool in safeguarding your company against malware, and is able to run in the background, checking anything that is downloaded onto your machines. If your team isn’t well versed in being able to spot potential threats, anti-virus software can do that for them.
Going back to our previous point, you need to keep your software updated to be sure you have the most recent and effective protection. Many companies will install anti-virus software, almost as a token gesture, then neglect to update and maintain it. You and your team need to be vigilant with notifications for updates or subscription renewals. Keep a record of all of the software you have licenses for within your company, and keep track of whether or not you have the most recent version installed.
Put an IT Policy in Place
Put some firm guidelines in place for internet activity in your organisation. Let your team know clearly what is and isn’t acceptable when visiting websites or downloading material which is not known and trusted. This will go a long way to lessening the chance of untrustworthy content being downloaded, and malicious software being installed. We have advice on implementing an IT policy in your company.
You may also wish to put a monitoring system in place, as well as browsing restrictions. Depending on your workplace culture, this may not be the right option, but if you are open and honest with your employees as to the reasons why you have decided to put these practices in place, it can be beneficial. We discuss email monitoring and employee web activity here.
Mobile devices such as phones, laptops and tablets can also pose a malware risk, particularly if you operate a Bring-Your-Own-Device policy. If your team uses work IT outside of office hours and the office environment, it’s much more difficult to keep tabs on what they are downloading and how they are using it. You may want to look into a mobile device management platform to add an extra layer of security to your company mobile IT. Make sure your team are aware of their responsibilities and obligations when it comes to using company-owned technology too.
If you would like to discuss your business’s anti-virus and malware protection needs, we’d be glad to chat to you about it. You can get in touch with us here.