Malicious Software or Malware is a serious concern to IT Security experts and business owners alike. Malware is a category of Cyber Security threats that includes Viruses, Worms,Trojans and Botnets. It is no surprise that the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) tenth annual IT Security Information Trends report placed Malware at the top of the list of security threats. CompTIA cited that eighty-five percent of Business Owners and IT Professionals have a moderate to serious concern about Malware. Why should you care?
Many times Malware intrusions will go undetected. Some malware may cause your computer to run slowly. Some malware may be programmed to silently harvest privacy data from your hard drive, while other malware is programmed to destroy data on your hardware. Other malware can turn your PC into a Cyber Hacker by exploiting security holes and using your PC to attack other PCs.
Costs associated with data breaches is estimated to be as high as a billion dollars each year. Moreover, the number of Malware threats are exploding. Symantec estimates there will be over 250,000 new threats (not attacks) identified on Android devices in 2012 alone. What can you do to avoid Malware?
IT Security Risk Assessment
The reality is you can not afford to eradicate one hundred percent of all cyber threats, so you need to have a pragmatic plan for defending yourself. Start by understanding your security risks by reviewing your core applications and data, policies and procedures, as well as, your network infrastructure. You are as vulnerable as your weakest link.
IT Security Compliance
To protect your applications and their data, as well as your employee productivity, make sure all of your IT Assets are up to date with Operating System patches and updates. IT Assets include desktops, laptops, servers, smart phones and tablet computers. Also, keep your applications up to date with the latest updates. Many of these security patches are designed to protect you from Malware attacks. In addition, keep your Anti-Virus and Anti-malware subscriptions current to protect yourself from Malware threats.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
If you are attacked by Malware you will minimize the impact on your business if you have a business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan in place. By understanding what applications and their data are most important, you can get up and running quicker, if you suffer a data loss.
Train your employees about the importance of IT Security. If they are aware of the exposure they are more likely to follow policies and procedures by accepting security patches, reporting infections and data loss. Periodic trainings will serve as a better reminder than longer sessions once per year.
If you feel you may have malware infecting your IT Assets, or are concerned about what you would do if you lost data from a malware attack, you should contact your IT Support organization and request an IT Security assessment.