Posted on: Thursday April 02nd, 2015

Author: Kilimanjaro Consulting

As you may be aware, malware is a dangerous thing in the business world. We’ve seen malware infiltrate different systems and encrypt files, only to be retrieved by paying a ransom in exchange for a decryption key. This is only ONE type of malware. With new variants of viruses being released every few weeks, it can be difficult to protect your data, but even more difficult to retrieve it.

We urge clients to follow these very simple, but vital steps to ensure your EXO data is secure.

1. Be vigilant and alert

The best and most effective way of preventing a virus from entering the network is to be alert. You can do this by:

  • Identifying if the email was sent from a known person or source
  • Treating all email attachments as malicious
  • Never clicking on hyperlinks from emails prompting you to update your details

These practices will ensure you actually read the email before opening any unknown files or links that can potentially expose your network to viruses. You should also be aware that banks and government departments will never send out emails asking for account details. If you are unsure of whether to click on a hyperlink, hover over the link to reveal the URL and see if it is safe to proceed.

2. Train staff on IT Policy & Procedures

Constantly reminding staff of your IT policy and procedures can keep them wary of incoming emails. Instilling good practices like the ones mentioned above will maintain their vigilance when dealing with unknown files and hyperlinks.

3. Install Spam Filters

We all come across spam daily. It’s unavoidable. The contents of spam emails can be completely incomprehensible and at times dangerous. It can affect both the computer and the user. Installing a spam filter ensures that all the unwarranted and malicious emails are filtered out before it reaches your network.

4. Install Antivirus software

Even the best spam filters are not 100% effective. Some malicious emails can still bypass your spam filter. If this happens and a user opens an email with malicious content, the antivirus software will be triggered and warn the user. This is the last layer of protection that can prevent an attack on your network.

5. Backup regularly

We all know it, but we often neglect to do it. Backing up your data regularly is extremely crucial to any business operation. It ensures that in the case of any loss of data (whether it is caused by a virus or an actual fire) you will have the most recent, and up to date files so you can continue running your business as usual with minor disturbances.

An easy way to ensure backups are made regularly is to make a member of your team responsible for your backups, and make sure that it is being done on a daily minimum. Check the backup register each week to track this.

So, while all the points mentioned above are important, backing up your data is vital. If your business does succumb to malware, you will at the very least, have a backup of your data from the day before (or hour before), rather than nothing at all.