Cyber-attacks against small businesses have become rampant and are now a cause for concern as it puts businesses at risk. For this reason, small businesses request the services of computer network support engineers to beef up their cyber security systems.
What are the impacts of computer viruses and malware and how can small businesses be protected from it?
Malware includes any software set up in your machine to carry out undesired tasks for an external body. Malware could be in the form of viruses, ransomware, and spyware. Malware is capable of damaging a computer network support.
A virus is a kind of software that can duplicate itself and extend to other computers sharing the same network. This is why a virus attack is compared to an infection. Viruses are designed to wreck a computer by wiping out files, rearranging a hard drive, or erasing computer memory.
Ransomware is a kind of software used by hackers to take possession of an individual’s’ data until a certain price is paid for its release.
Spyware on the other hand, is software programmed to draw information from your system, data and computer and forwards it to external parties. This includes details about your browser, IP addresses, web history, and more recently your passwords, credit card information, and other private information.
How to Protect Small businesses from Malware and Viruses
Regularly Update Antivirus and Anti-Malware
Most companies know the usefulness of this software and have it in place. However, it needs to be regularly updated to ensure security against cyber-attacks. One of the uses of an antivirus is to scan downloads and block malicious sites.
Update your Firewalls, Operating Systems, and Firmware
The fact that you have an up-to-date anti-virus software in place does not suggest that you have a firewall. Your firewall, as well as your operating system and firmware, needs constant updating. This will fortify your computers against new and advanced threats.
Use Complex Passwords
Your passwords should not be easy to guess. Do not use common passwords like 123456, business name or any name related to you and your business. A strong password is a mix of numbers, letters and symbols. Avoid the practice of using the same password for everything. Also, your password should not be less than eight characters. All employees should abide by a strong password policy.
Develop and Implement an Equipment Use Policy
Clearly, state the extent to which employees are permitted to use company owned equipment such as laptops and phones for their personal benefits.
Initiate an Employee Separation Policy
This is especially necessary when the appointment of an employee has been terminated. This termination policy must be applied regardless of the position occupied by the former employee to ensure that they have no connection to your network after their departure. The chances of grouchy former employees infiltrating your computer support system with malware or even getting their hands on confidential data will be reduced or completely eliminated.
Educate Employees About Computer Support
Employees need to be trained on how to fortify themselves against cyber hackers. They must be informed on the importance of keeping their social security numbers private and avoiding clicking on links in emails from unfamiliar senders. Links are a good way to infect computers.