The business technology of today presents a double-edged sword for many business owners. Failing to keep up with a landscape which is becoming more and more interconnected could be fatal, but so could falling foul of the many web-based menaces you could be exposed to.
To safeguard your network, make sure you install reputable anti-virus, anti-spam software along with a hardware based firewall. Each element has its own job, but you’ll need all three for iron-clad protection.
Proper anti-virus software protects your business network from multiple forms of web-based malware, particularly phishing attacks and Trojans.
Phishing refers to any correspondences used in an attempt to trick users into replying with sensitive information – including usernames, banking details, and passwords – which could subsequently be used for fraudulent purposes. Information is usually solicited via email or text message, and can pose significant risks. As recently as late 2014, J P Morgan was the victim of a phishing attack which attempted to install malware and steal credentials.
Trojans can potentially cause even greater harm. Extremely difficult to detect once they’ve entered your system, they can use your device to launch large-scale attacks, or steal your details by recording each keystroke. Consider everything you typed today, and ask yourself whether you can afford for that information to fall into the hands of hackers.
Spam emails waste time and lower productivity. Filtering these unsolicited correspondences from the inboxes of each user in your network will make work more streamlined, and help project an air of competency.
Unfortunately, lowered efficiency is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to spam emails. These are often used as entry points for viruses and Trojans, meaning that malicious programmers have identified them as a weak spot in your security system. This is why anti-spam software should be used in conjunction with anti-virus programs to provide complete protection.
Without it, a harmful virus could find its way into your network, or the original email could gain access to your contacts and forward itself to each one using your email address. For a personal account, that’s an embarrassing hassle. For business accounts, it could be catastrophic.
A firewall should be your main defence against cyber-attacks; it stands between your trusted business network and the internet at large, controlling both incoming and outgoing traffic based on fully customizable safety settings.
A firewall is what stops malware entering your system in the first place, and will lock a device out of your network if that device becomes insecure. Think of anti-virus as a cure, and firewalls as a vaccine. They represent a vital part of your security system, your first line of resistance.
Just remember that firewalls, like all other cyber-security devices, need to be constantly updated. Think of the war between hackers and security professionals as something of an arms race, with hackers constantly trying to find ways around programs which are themselves persistently developed in order to protect themselves. Software which isn’t upgraded is likely to be vulnerable, so get the best, and keep it the best.
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