Computer viruses are abundant in the 21st century and are only getting more apparent as time goes by. In the last decade, there has been an 87% increase in Malware infections. At present, over 92% of all Malware is delivered by email.¹ They have evolved from something that’s sole purpose is to cause carnage into a tool for criminals to exploit vulnerable systems for financial gain.
Your business infrastructure can be damaged beyond repair if you are not prepared for an attack. Attacks can target different parts of your system and come in a variety of different forms, the most common form of virus is Malware. With Malware, the attack can target many different functions of your computer system, from data theft or loss, onward infection intent on polluting your entire infrastructure, or one to cause malfunctions to the systems. The statistics show that “the average recovery time for a business or individual from a malware attack can be close to two months”². Could you afford a two-month recovery?
How infections happen
The most common way for your computer to get infected is through a compromised email commonly called ‘a Phishing email’. Phishing emails are an online scam that is on the rise, in 2019 there were an astonishing 129.9 million during the second quarter of the year alone.³ Criminals pose as legitimate organisations through email, advertisement or text message to scam you out of personal/ sensitive information. They pose as being from a well-established trusted company, usually a credit card company, social networking site, online payment website, or a bank.
There are usually key factors to look out for on a phishing email. Take these examples and look them up on the example email.
- Think of the channel you would normally communicate with the particular vendor on if this does not match up then that’s an immediate red flag, for example, if you normally communicate via text or Whatsapp an email is out of the ordinary.
- They are trying to create urgency, by giving you a 24-hour deadline along with a threat by telling you that you’re going to lose your account altogether.
- Hover over the included links before clicking them! Check where the hyperlink is going to take you before you click it blindly, clicking this link in the example would make your information and data available to hackers- if there is no match between the apparent URL and the real URL delete the message!
- Check previous emails from the sendee and check if the emails are normally unable to be replied to.
This is just an example, some can be noticed by poor grammar and language used in the main text of the message.
Other ways in which viruses manage to get on your system can include that you may browse a compromised website or that it could come from a file on a memory stick or other removable storage media so stay vigilant.
Protect your business!
Anti-virus software should be on every computer in your office and at home. A lot of operating systems come with free anti-virus software but this is normally the bare minimum and will not protect your computer adequately. Anti-Malware software is your best option for protection today. A software-based firewall should be installed to avoid any websites, files and suspicious links causing problems on the system. Tablets and Smartphones come with their own security guidance, search these up for individual make and model to know what’s best for your device.
Only use the app stores from the manufacturer, downloading apps from unknown sources isn’t a good idea as they could contain Malware.
Access can be limited by running Apps and Programs in a ‘sandbox’. This is a good tool because it stops interactivity between other parts of your device or network, in turn not allowing them to harm the network or device with infected software. Remember to talk to your staff about Cybersecurity and stress to them how important it is.
At Blazon Technologies, we specialized in protecting our clients’ network and data, ensuring they can keep running their business even if disaster strikes them.
To find out how we can help you with your security and protection, contact us for more information.