Your business is under a grave threat writes Rohit Langde, internet entrepreneur and blogger from MalwareFox
Isn’t it a great and fulfilling feeling when you become your own boss and run your own business? But there is one frightening fact that you might not be aware of. The underlying attacker just waiting for a vulnerable moment to nab your important and crucial data. Yes, I am talking about malware threats to your business.
Fact: 71% of small businesses fall victim to cybercrimes and 60% of them shut done within 6 months of the attack.
In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know to protect your business from malware.
First off, let me tell you what exactly malware is.
What is a Malware?
Malware is a malicious software installed by the third party (attacker) to get a hold of your system. The attacker may inject self-replicating virus to infect your whole computer network, install spyware for tracking your personal information or worse, encrypt all your files and data.
The third case is called Ransomware. In this case, the attacker asks for a ransom amount to release all your hacked information. Now for businesses, this is a serious situation.
One given day where you lose access to all your critical data essential to run the business or worse, your customers’ data gets compromised. This situation can endanger not just your business, but your client’s data will also be at stake.
Now, let me share the most prominent types of malware that can affect your system.
As noted above, Ransomware is a malware where the attacker encrypts your files and asks for a hefty amount to release all your files. The most recent example can be taken from the catastrophic Wannacry Ransomware which affected more than 150 countries.
If such an attack occurs, you’ll have to pay a price or lose your data forever. Most business owners chose to pay the amount as they couldn’t afford to halt their daily operations.
2. Bank Trojans
Another common form of malware is Bank Trojan. In this attack, the hacker may send you an email or link you to a spoof site which resembles the bank site.
Now, the recent example can be taken from Equifax fiasco where more than 143 million American users’ financial information was compromised.
3. PoS Trojans
Do you have a PoS machine for the convenience of your customers? Here’s the bad news. PoS Trojans are malware designed specifically to steal customer data. Using infected PoS terminals can leave you drowning in hot soup with legal battles and can further damage your reputation.
Whether you own a startup or a large enterprise, your business is at a risk of malware and ignoring it won’t help.
On an average, the companies, both small and large, lose humongous $400 billion in cyber attacks.
However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Once a company is attacked, they may lose their customers’ trust. This will greatly devastate your brand image and revenue generation.
So as a business owner, what should you do? The simple answer is become proactive and take proper measures to protect yourself from cyber attacks.
Here Are The 10 Steps to Protect Your Business From Malware
1. Encrypt Your Information
Cyber Experts suggest you should keep all your information including employee details, credit card numbers, banking details, etc in an encrypted format on all your systems. Most OS has inbuilt full-disk encryption tools. You can activate these tools to keep all your data secure.
2. Secure Your Network
Secure your Internet with a wired network and strong password-backed wi-fi network. Hackers use a technique called “wardriving” to detect weak wi-fi networks. If you’re using wi-fi, upgrade it to the latest encryption standard and keep changing the network name and password frequently.
3. Keep Your Software Updated
Ensure that all the systems in your office are updated and installed with latest security patches. If you install additional software, keep it up to date to protect from latest threats.
4. Frame a Security Policy
83% of small businesses have no proper cybersecurity plan in place. If you’re one of those, it is high time to frame a strong security policy and implement it in your business. Make a well-defined policy for each process that takes place in your office.
5. Educate Your Workforce
Educating your workforce to be on the lookout for fishy links and software. Formulate policies and train them to implement those in their online activities. As an additional measure, restrict the amount of personal activities employees can perform from their official systems.
6. Install Licensed Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware on Your System
Licensed products are designed and developed keeping in mind the evolving risks in a cyber world. Install Antivirus and anti-malware software on all your systems to prevent any intruder activity on your system network.
7. Backup Your System
Automate the backup process to a remote server or hire third-party cloud-based storage services. Regular backup will help you deal with any unforeseeable situations.
8. Disable All Access of Past Employees
Once an employee leaves the organization, remove all access from the network to enforce security from grudge holders who may try to inject malware in your systems.
9. Have an Emergency Plan
Brace yourself and your workforce in case any cyber attack occurs. Have an emergency plan and practice it like a fire drill to be prepared for the worst.
10. Perform Audits of Your Network
A new kind of malware may be injected into your system. Stay aware of any misleading links and threats by performing regular audit of all systems on your network.
When an attack might happen is unknown. However, taking preventive measures and staying vigilant can help us stay secure and be prepared.
In an environment, where hackers are finding new ways of attack, implementing the above security mechanisms can help your business stay safe on the Internet.
Stay safe, secure and fly beyond your horizons.
Rohit Langde : “Rohit is an internet entrepreneur and blogger who is now running an up and coming new anti-malware product called MalwareFox“