If you’re running a business you’re constantly managing risks. Changing markets, employee/client liabilities and a number of other things revolving around keeping your doors open.
One of the top risks organizations face however is one that often goes overlooked. It’s a risk that’s particularly troublesome to companies that deal with important, private client information. That risk is malware.
As a matter of fact, the average cost of a data breach which could potentially be caused by malware is 3.6 million dollars for businesses.
To help mitigate the risk malware can present to your organization, our team has put together this list of tips on how to prevent malware infections.
Our hope is that you and your employees will be able to implement the guidance below and significantly reduce your probability of having to manage a malware attack.
1) Get Outdated Software Off Your System
Computer systems are often cluttered with legacy software that is no longer relevant to business practices. Add that risk to the amount of bloatware you may have hidden on your machine (irrelevant programs that come stock on your computer), and you’re looking at a lot of malware vulnerabilities.
Legacy software and bloatware on your computer tend not to be updated, and because of that, the program’s outdated security measures allow malware access your network.
To be safe, every fiscal quarter, make it a habit to remove any software that’s no longer in use.
2) Get Email Savvy
Email is one of the primary ways people fall into malware traps. Because of that, it’s one of the main things you should look at when approaching the question of how to prevent malware.
As a general rule, make sure that you and your staff do not click on links being sent to your inbox from unknown senders. Be sure to never download any files or attachments from suspicious sources as well.
3) Beware of Fake Tech Support
People running scams will often call office employee’s desks telling them they represent the IT department of your organization or Microsoft and need remote access to their system to battle an imminent threat.
Make it clear to staff members that this is not how your IT department handles issues. Employees should never follow directions from an unknown person over the phone.
4) Keep Internet Activity Relevant
Let’s face it, while doing personal tasks on a work computer is frowned upon, it happens. If your employees are accessing websites not relevant to business operations, you have a couple of options.
First, you could block irrelevant websites via your router’s settings. Alternatively, you can educate employees on safe browsing practices.
For instance, employees should never download anything onto their local system from off the internet.
5) Log Out at The End of The Day
Malware isn’t always a threat that occurs by downloading something over an internet connection. Sometimes malicious actors can be physically present in your office.
To help make sure no person physically accesses your network and exposes connected computers to a virus, let employees know that they are to log out of their accounts completely at the end of the workday.
6) Up Your Password Standards
Expanding again on the possibility of bad actors physically accessing your network, you should make sure that passwords are strong on all devices your organization utilizes.
The best solution for this is to have employees use randomly generated passwords and keep them stored in a password manager for easy recall.
7) Only Access Secured Sites
Ever wonder what that green padlock in the upper left-hand corner of your web browser’s search bar is? It’s an indicator that states the website you’re on uses SSL security to encrypt all data transmissions.
Any time you’re inputting information into forms that is of a private nature you need to make sure that green padlock is showing. If it’s not, data can be easily intercepted.
8) Keep Your Operating System Up to Date
Operating system providers like Windows and Apple are constantly pushing out updates to ensure that machines are compliant with the latest security standards. These updates only help if you opt into them though.
To make sure you’re covered, always update your system when you’re prompted to by your operating system manufacturer. Doing so is an easy and important method of how to prevent malware.
9) Make Sure You’re Using a Good Anti Virus
Antivirus programs come stock with many operating systems. So long as you keep the program’s malware definitions up to date, they should provide you with okay protection.
For more robust protection, consider working with a professional cybersecurity team. They can tailor make security solutions for you that will seamlessly integrate into your business’ processes.
10) Beware of “Malvertising”
Advertising is how massive portions of the internet are funded. Unfortunately, many web admin’s willingness to put whatever ad widgets pay best on their site open you up to malware.
Some advertising modules are auto-play videos that run code within your browser window. While most browsers that are up to date will protect you from auto-run assaults, to help improve your protection, consider downloading a browser plugin that keeps ads from auto-running or adjust your browser settings to prevent this.
Wrapping Up How to Prevent Malware
If you’re wondering how to prevent malware, we recommend implementing the suggestions above. In combination with one another, they will provide you and your organization with a comprehensive preventative game plan that will significantly reduce your network’s risk of contracting a virus.
Remember, data breaches cost companies millions. More important than the money though is what they’ll cost you in the way of consumer confidence.
Be proactive and start taking malware protection seriously!
Are you ready to up your cyber security game but need help implementing the level of protection required for your organization? Our team at Paranet can help.
Paranet has prevented over one billion attacks launched against our clients. That means we’ve saved them hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damages.
Let us take our experience and provide you with that same level of protection.
Contact us today and learn about what Paranet can do for you!