Malware is a serious threat to the well-being of any business. More than 350,000 new malicious programs appear every day with goals that vary from theft of financial details to the collection of sensitive corporate information.
As a business owner, you may be wondering how best to protect your company against the stolen data, damaged devices, and hindered reputation that result from malware. It can easily wreak havoc on your prosperity and success, meaning learning how to protect against malware can keep your data intact while avoiding other serious consequences.
Types of Malware Attacks
When looking to protect your business against malware, you should first understand the different attacks. Malware comes in many shapes and sizes, but knowing the common types can help you discover them in a timely manner.
A program designed to help hackers spy on device owners and gather information like logins, passwords, activity, correspondence, and more. It gives hackers access to any sensitive information you are viewing on your computer.
A program that halts all activities on your computer and asks you to pay a ransom to lift the block. However, in some cases, you still lose data.
A program disguised as a harmless file, which you download and install on the computer. The program can then do a variety of things, including spying, stealing data, conducting denial of service (DoS) attacks, and more.
This software damages the computer and corrupts data. It attaches itself to other programs and uses them to spread throughout the device and to others in its network. It usually enters through email attachments and downloads.
This program replicates itself and spreads on its own throughout a computer. Unlike a virus, it’s a standalone program that can steal information, delete files, create botnets, and damage the system.
Each one of these malware attacks is dangerous on its own, but hackers also practice creating hybrid malware. These attacks involve a combination of several malicious programs, such as trojans and worms or spyware and viruses.
8 Ways to Protect Your Business Against Malware Attacks
So, how exactly do you protect your business against malware? It’s difficult to avoid serious consequences once an attack is underway, meaning preventive actions are key to keeping your information safe. Let’s talk about several simple ways to protect your business against malware.
1. Keep Your Software Updated
This is one of the most important ways to protect your business against malware, which can make its way into computers through software vulnerabilities. Software providers work continuously to discover loopholes and create patches to protect against them.
You can’t take advantage of these patches unless you download regular updates, however. These updates are installed automatically for some programs, but others require a user’s action. Make sure to check for regular software updates and install them as soon as they become available.
2. Be Careful with Emails
When trying to protect your business against malware, it is crucial that you understand that email messages carry malicious links or attachments that can be highly dangerous. Clicking the link could send malware to your computer or make you a victim of a phishing attack, and downloading an attachment could endanger the entire network.
Educate your employees about avoiding links and checking all attachments carefully. Don’t take any actions with emails that come from suspicious or unknown senders.
3. Invest in Antivirus Software
A high-quality antivirus software can prevent a malware attack by stopping you from downloading dangerous attachments or alerting you to a breach. Antivirus software can’t protect you from all types of malware attacks, but it can become an irreplaceable security agent. Additionally, you can install a firewall and anti-malware software. Make sure to keep your antivirus, anti-malware, and firewall software updated.
4. Remove Software You Don’t Use
Old programs can become the loophole through which hackers enter your computer. It’s easy to forget to update it since you don’t use this software regularly, and old apps are usually more vulnerable to attacks than newer software.
Take the time to browse your servers and remove unnecessary and legacy software as well as all old documents so they don’t become the target of a malware attack.
5. Practice Safe Internet Browsing
Careless internet browsing generally leads to unexpected malware downloads. Make sure to educate your staff about safe browsing techniques that include:
- Setting up strong passwords and using a password manager
- Visiting secure websites only. Look for the padlock icon next to the URL
- Log out once you are done with the website. Leaving your login information hanging could make it a target of an attack.
6. Implement a Security Policy
One of the main reasons hackers manage to get malware through to your computer is human carelessness. By implementing a transparent security policy, you can give your employees clear security guidelines and add a new layer of protection.
- Educating staff can prevent slip ups and ensure secure browsing, emailing, clicking, and downloading.
- Encrypting sensitive data files can prevent them from falling into hacker’s hands even if the malware manages to get through your defenses.
7. Don’t Pay the Ransom
If you’ve been hit by ransomware, don’t succumb to the threats. Paying the ransom doesn’t free your computer from malware, just allows you to keep using it. If hackers managed to enter your computer, they may have planted other malware in the process. Simply paying the ransom and ignoring the consequences could lead to other attacks.
Ask for professional assistance to clean up your computer and recover any lost files. Make sure to always back all the important data up on the cloud or other servers just in case so you won’t have to depend on hackers to unlock your computer to keep working.
8. Create a Disaster Recovery Plan
A disaster can strike no matter how hard you try to protect your business against malware. You should thus have a disaster recovery plan in place that includes clear steps to quickly rectify the situation while keeping losses to a minimum.
Designing a disaster recovery plan on your own may be complicated. Consider outsourcing this task to a managed IT provider.
Keep Your Data Safe 24/7
The increasingly digital nature of the world means the chances of your company being hit by a malware attack are high. You need to implement serious security measures to protect your business against malware. The professionals at SADOS can help. The best way to ensure your company and its assets are protected against malware attacks is to hire a professional IT management team. For more information about protecting your business against malware and other security threats, contact us today