As a business owner, protecting your infrastructure from outside attacks is crucial for protecting your income, your reputation and your data.
One of the worst things that can happen to a business is your data being wiped out. A virus, worm, trojan or other outside attack could do this and take your business offline as a result. That is why it’s important to be prepared and have good security and protection systems in place before the worst can happen.
In this article we will provide an overview of the most common types of outside threat and what you can do about them to keep your business safe.
What Are The Main Threats To Your Business?
The main threat to your business is what’s known as ‘malware’ or ‘malicious software’. Malware comes in many different forms, and you may have already heard of viruses, worms and Trojans but what are they and how can they affect your business?
A virus is a small piece of software designed to look like any normal, harmless file. They spread through email, over the internet or through physical storage devices like USB drives. Viruses are the most common threat to your business. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions out there and more are being created every day.
Worms are very similar to viruses and they are spread the same way. They have the ability to take over your computer infrastructure and send things like spam emails without you knowing. There are also a huge number of worms out there, but not as many as viruses.
Trojans are named after ‘Trojan Horses’ and work exactly the same way. They are a malicious price of software that hide inside a normal file like a video, picture or text document. To you, they look like a completely normal file, but when you open it, they will install malicious software on your system without your knowledge. The might install key loggers, spyware or give someone else remote access to your computer and are a real threat to your security.
Adware is generally not as much of a breach to your security as the others, but it can install annoying and unwanted advertising software on your system.
How Do I Protect My Business Infrastructure From These Threats?
The affect that malware can have in your business should not be underestimated. It is estimated that 60% to 90% of business with a serious malware infection never fully recover. Removing malware and restoring your infrastructure to its previous healthy state can be a long and costly process. Prevention is the best cure and here are the two best ways to protect your business.
Antivirus software is now common amongst home users, but there are still a large number of businesses that fail to adopt this essential security barrier. Antivirus software is designed to constantly monitor, scan and protect your computers as you use them. It uses a huge database of known threats and looks for unusual behaviors to identify potential threats to your computer or IT network. If the antivirus software detects a threat, it will lock down your computer and remove any malware. Antivirus software is a crucial first line of defense if you are serious about your business’s security.
A firewall is a barrier between your internal computers or IT network and any outside networks like the internet. Think of it as a checkpoint. Every piece of data and information that arrives at your computer or network has to identify itself. If malware tries to enter your network, it will be turned away before it even has a chance to enter. It’s like having your own network security guards. Virtual firewalls are available as a piece of software, but the traditional and best firewall is still hardware based. A hardware firewall is a device that sits directly between the internet and your own computer or network and will carry out the above security tasks without you even noticing it is there.
Protecting your business data, applications and infrastructure is vital if you want to continue in business. If you do not have an effective firewall and antivirus software, make sure you set them up as a matter of urgency. It sounds dramatic, but hundreds of new threats are being created every day, and without adequate protection, it is likely that your business could be irreversibly affected at some point.