Be sure these are on your cyber security checklist
If you didn’t understand the threat from malware last year, you almost certainly know it now. 2017 saw an unprecedented number of malware attacks, with about 230,000 new threats every day. And while it is the big corporations that make headlines, all businesses are susceptible to a malware infection. To keep yours protected, follow these tips:
1. Keep your system updated
Remember the Equifax breach? It’s very possible this massive attack could have been prevented if the company had just made sure its security software was updated. Whenever you get an alert about an update to anything – including plugins – don’t ignore it. It may seem inconvenient, but maximum protection is always worthwhile and these updates can usually be run during off hours.
2. Change your plugin status
Speaking of plugins, it’s possible the way they’re set up now could leave you open for an attack. Through malvertising – malicious advertising – malware can be distributed through online ads. Just visiting a site with ads could cause an infection. To prevent this, make sure your plugins are set to click-to-play. This ensures Java or Flash won’t run unless an ad is clicked.
3. Think before downloading free software
One of the beauties of the Internet is that so much great stuff is completely free. But if you’re not careful, you may end up paying a costly price for free software. Unless you are confident something won’t infect your system – checking the provider’s reputation and first scanning it with an anti-virus program can give you insight – don’t do it.
4. Be extremely vigilant with email
Cyber criminals often use devious schemes to attack a business, but sometimes all they have to do is send out an email. Phishing attacks are extremely widespread, and all it takes to be infected is clicking on the wrong link. This is why emails need to be scrutinized. If anything looks fishy (pun intended), delete it. One tip is to scrutinize the email header to make sure that both the FROM and TO email addresses match up with the entity who is supposed to be sending the email.
5. Improve your passwords
You’ve probably heard that one of the most common passwords is actually “password.” And while this is kind of funny, it’s actually the hackers who get the last laugh. In addition to using strong passwords – ideally a mix of letters, numbers, and characters – the same ones shouldn’t be used for different places. If you routinely use a lot of logins, it may be time to consider a password manager, which will securely keep as many as you need.
6. Check your connection
Before you enter anything into a website, take a look at the URL. There should be an “https” and not just an “http.” In addition, make sure you see a little padlock icon. This tells you that the information transmitted between the server and the browser is private.
7. Get rid of things you’re not using
Old and out-of-date software for a hacker is like an unlocked window to a burglar. When there’s a new version of something, companies stop offering security updates for the old stuff, which could mean you have some glaring vulnerabilities in your system.
8. Use the latest tools and tech
It probably goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway), that you should be using firewalls and the latest antivirus software. It’s a good idea to utilize holistic anti-malware software, which protects against various types of malware attacks.
9. Employ a managed service provider
While the above tactics can help keep your business safe, there’s an even easier thing you do: Let somebody else worry about it.
With our managed IT services, your system will be set up properly, stay updated, and be constantly monitored. If an issue or problem is detected, it will then be addressed and fixed immediately. To learn what we can do for your business, give us a call at (954) 880-0388.