Five ways to protect your business against malware

Malware is a huge threat to the cyber security of companies. If your business’ computer system becomes infected with malware it can leave it vulnerable to data and financial loss as well as operational disruption. So it is vital that you should take the correct steps to ensure that you are protected. Businesses and individuals across the world fall victim to it every single day.

A recent report revealed that only 50 per cent of UK businesses believe that they have the right skills to defend against a cyber-attack. If you put your business in this category it is imperative that you begin to invest in your defences and pay more attention to the dangers. Whether it is from malware, hackers or cyber criminals, there are multiple sophisticated dangers and threats that can potentially cause damage to your business if you don’t prepare for them. Here are five key ways that you can keep your businesses protected.

 

1. Update your software

One of the most common ways for hackers and cyber criminals to introduce malware to a business computer system is to take advantage of out-of-date systems and applications Often updates are released in order to deal with known security flaws, so when systems aren’t routinely updated you are leaving your organisation open to attack.

Undoubtedly the first step to keep your business safe from malware is to ensure that all patches and updates for any kind of software in your system are kept up-to-date. Yes, it may cost you a few minutes in lost time during your working day but doing so can help to ensure that your business does not become an easy target.

2.Work with cyber security specialists to remove vulnerabilities 

The fact is that cyber criminals and hackers are constantly becoming more skilful and sophisticated in the methods they use. The evolving nature of threats means that it is up to you to be proactive and stay ahead of the hackers.

It is important for businesses of all sizes to remove any vulnerabilities as soon as possible, and the best way to do this is by undertaking regular security assessments. Commission experienced cyber security experts to perform penetration and vulnerability testing on your network and applications as often as possible.

3.Educate and train all staff

It will not matter how strong your cyber defences are if individuals in the company don’t know how to be safe and follow security best practices. Your staff are one of the most important lines of defence against cyber criminals, so they need to be aware of the risks and be able to identify signs of an attack. 

For example, if your staff use weak passwords this can be an easy entry point to the system for hackers. And individuals without a good understanding of the risk posed by technology could potentially make mistakes such as downloading and sharing malicious files.

4. Don’t fall for social engineering

One of the most common ways companies are infected with malware is via employees falling victim to social engineering attacks. It can involve something as simple as identity theft – for example, a criminal posing as a client in order to gain access to private data.

However, social engineering can also be used to spread malware. The most common way for this to occur is through phishing scams. Phishing emails purport to be from a reputable source but contain links or attachments that, when clicked, download malware to the local machine. It is vital that any staff training should provide an understanding of the dangers of social engineering and identifying the signs of an attack.

5. Monitor your network for threats

It is important that businesses should monitor networks and endpoint for signs of attack. The latest forms of malware are capable of evading perimeter security and signature-based anti virus software. The best way to detect sophisticated forms of malware is via the latest behavioural monitoring technologies, which can help to identify abnormal patterns of behaviour and respond to anomalous activity in its infancy.

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