As recent news articles have highlighted, there is an increasing amount of unwanted viruses, which are targeting not only large businesses, but anything from one person organisations up, and are moving away from the traditional target of home users.
Det Supt Stevie Wilson, head of Police Scotland’s cyber crime unit, said: “We have seen a large number of businesses being targeted across Scotland in a multitude of sectors.
“Certainly in the financial sector and agriculture, but predominantly in the small and medium enterprises with up to 200 employees.
“A lot of businesses may not recover from a cyber attack simply because personal customer data has been stolen, and it can cause real problems for the viability of that business in the long-term.”
The most common infections over the last few years maybe tried to send out spam email from your machine, collect personal information or bank details, or try to infect other machines. Admittedly, not a nice thing to get, but an infection with few long lasting effects, as any decent IT company would be able to clean them off.
Latest Nasty Viruses
The latest variation, known as Cryptolocker, locks down your files and documents and encrypts them, leaving them useless, unreadable and un-useable. These files are unable to be unlocked by anyone without the decryption key which is held by those who have infected your machine. It cannot be guessed either, unless you had access to a large super computer and a few years spare. This malware not only infects your own machine, but can also then replicate itself through your network and lock down files on the network, including backup files.
Protecting your business
Below, we have outlined some basic yet essential ways in which your security can be improved.
- Education, Education, Education – Ensure staff take responsibility for their actions, when using your IT equipment. Take five seconds to think before opening attachments from unknown and even known sources. Again, think about the websites you browse at work. Business’ should consider getting staff to sign up to an IT policy.
- Free Antivirus – The days of free Antivirus are over. A lot of businesses have benefited from Microsoft Security Essentials. Speak to your IT company about an all-round package that will manage and report outbreaks.
- Malware Protection, for the best of both worlds – We personally like Antivirus and a separate malware solution, just to make sure that you are covered on as many fronts as possible.
- Improve Backup – The backup software that came with your server or PC is not adequate against such malware threats. You need a backup solution that is reliable, gives you version control and ideally stores a copy offsite (in the cloud).
- Windows and Software Updates – Make sure your PCs and Laptops are regularly updated with not only the latest Windows patches, but also latest patches from other vendors.
- Firewall – That device connects your office network to the internet, is it business grade? Does it provide additional security features?
- Desktop Lockdown – Do your staff really need full access to Windows, allowing them to install any software they so wish?
- Internet Filtering – This can be achieved in many ways, but the goal is restricting access to non-essential sites.
- Windows XP – The time has come to remove Windows XP from your business. It is no longer fit for purpose or supported with the latest security patches.
- Passwords – Change your passwords and make them complicated.
If you have any concerns about your business security, or wish to discuss it, please Contact Us
Disclaimer : No cats were harmed in the making of this blog post