Are you a social engineer? If you are then the small business community is crying for your help. Why? Well, according to statistics realized by Symantec, 40% of all cyber attacks were launched against firms with less than 500 employees. To make matters even worse, the National Cyber Security Alliance has revealed that 1 in every 5 small businesses has to deal with a cyber threat each year. Of this number, 60% do not recover. They often close shop after just six months. It is because of this that you find small businesses requesting for updates on the state of cyber security.
Read on to find out how malware can disrupt your business then use the guide, specified by Oliver King, the Customer Success Manager of Semalt, to protect yourself from the same (malware).
What exactly is malware and how can it disrupt business
Malware is the acronym for malicious software. Coincidentally, the prefix ‘mal’ has a negative connotation in Spanish and other Latin languages (it means bad). Here are some definitions to help you understand.
As you can see, it’s not actually a threat but rather a general term used to refer to any software that installs itself in your system without your authorization. In most cases, its purpose is to phish data which is then used to steal personal details, credit card number, etc. Viruses, ransomware, and spyware all malware.
Just as the pathogens you’ve read about on biology, viruses can self replicate and then spread to other disk fragments or registry files. A virus is normally programmed to overwrite, delete or reformat computer systems.
As the name suggests, spyware is dispatched to spy on your activities especially those done online. We are talking about your social media accounts, browser history, and cookies which are then sold to interested parties often breaching your privacy. In extreme cases, spyware may steal your login details and other details through key logging
This is a complex program which hackers use to hold a business hostage. They take control of a database or server then demand payment so that they can release the resource. CryptoLocker is the best example of ransomware. It was unleashed in 2013.
Protecting your business from malware
For your business to be protected against the threat of malware, observe the following:
1. Keep your PCs antivirus updated. Of course installing an antivirus program is a must-do thing but is the program the latest version by the developer? Is it updated? Does it have an anti malware feature?
2. Use a genuine operating system, legit programs, and firmware. Do not cut corners by installing ‘cracked’ operating systems, software and apps. Buy or subscribe to genuine software. Check if a firewall is on.
3. Create and enforce a password policy – try password managers or start by using hard-to-guess passwords with alpha numerals and special characters.
4. Don’t take chances – to avoid being compromised, change the network whenever an employee is retrenched or voluntarily quits. This way a disgruntled employee can’t mess you up.
5. Educate your staff – ensure that they don’t click or install suspicious links and attachments. Make them run all downloaded programs through an antivirus program.