How does a company end up with malware? There are two general replies to that question – people and vulnerabilities.
The people category tends to include all admins, users, everyone who can run code on the network, and vulnerabilities encompass anything from an old system that hasn’t been updated to lack a good antivirus program.
How does malware invade the system?
Emails are arguably the most common infiltration way malware uses to slither into your system. Cybercrooks load them with corrupted links, attachments, or both and hope you fall for their trickery. You receive an email one day that seems legitimate. It can appear to come from your boss and contain a vital business document attached. Or from a delivery company that has a package withheld and urges you to open a tracking link to check it out. The potential scams are endless, and some of them can be pretty convincing. Always be vigilant when getting emails that you were not expecting or anything even remotely seems suspicious. Better to be safe than sorry.
Look out for bad spelling and grammar, weirdly placed punctuation, senders you don’t recognize, your name misspelled. Anything can be a giveaway that you’re the victim of a scam. Caution is critical if you wish to protect your computer and company from malware.
Here are two simple rules to abide by when dealing with emails:
- Unless you’re positive who sent you the email – don’t open it!
- If it aims to convince you to click a link or download an attachment, triple-check everything before you do; blindly following instructions won’t end well.
Another common invasive way is removable drives as they often carry infections. You should always handle external hard drives and USB flash drives with care. If employees find one on their way to work and decide to check it out on their company PC, the whole company could be in trouble. The malware usually gets installed once the drive gets plugged in, so don’t do that. Again, you must proceed with caution.
Employees often have to install programs needed for work. When doing so, it’s imperative to read through the terms and conditions and not just head straight for the OK. Malware can be hiding somewhere in the fine print, and you don’t want to agree to install it. Make sure to choose the official vendor’s website for necessary downloads, minimizing the risk of malware.
How to reduce the possibility of getting malware
If you wish to protect your company from malware, there are a few things you can do that will improve your chances of enjoying a malware-free company.
- Educate your employees.
Teach them what to look for in emails and be wary of clicking suspicious-looking links or visiting unsafe websites.
- Update regularly.
Software, applications, systems, everything must get frequent updates. Consistent updates are vital for keeping up your system’s safety.
- Invest in excellent antivirus software.
If you can afford it, choose anti-ransomware and anti-malware software, too. Having several security layers is hugely beneficial in guarding against cyberattacks.
- Backup your data.
If all else fails, you won’t find yourself at the mercy of cybercrooks. Try to backup everything weekly and even daily if possible. It’s preferable not to trust cloud services for that, as hackers can still find a way to access them.
If your company does get malware, it can be quite a devastating experience that could result in severe financial losses. Suppose you get stuck with a PUP (potentially unwanted program), adware, or anything of the sort. In that case, you’d be wasting valuable working time trying to get rid of the infection. The time that you could have spent making calls, connecting to clients, promoting your services, et cetera. If you get stuck with ransomware, it’s even worse. You could end up losing files, documents, client contacts, and, not to mention, time, energy, and money in your attempts to deal with the cyber threat.
You’d do your best to ensure malware cannot invade your company systems. When it comes to cyber threats, prevention is preferred to the reaction.