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The “digital exterminator's” guide to keeping nasties off your IT network

Paul Weeden

Written by Paul Weeden

Founder & Managing Director at Foration. IT and technology fixer.

[fa icon="clock-o"] 10 August 2016 [fa icon="user"] Paul Weeden [fa icon="folder-open'] advice, cyber-attack, data security, IT support

In this article we’ll look at some of the steps your company should be taking to guard against the inevitable attacks that your network will face from hacking and various malware strains.

Getting malware onto your network is more than just a nuisance. The effects can be devastating; causing downtime and data loss. Malware attacks are costly. In 2015, the average cost of a cyber-attack to UK businesses was estimated to be in excess of £110,000. While the damage attacks can cause to reputation and brand image can further impact on long term costs to the business.

All of which means that you need to be seriously diligent when it comes to protecting your network. Taking all reasonable measures to ensure that your network is as safe and free from the ‘nasties’ as possible.

Staying on top of changing threats

We mentioned at the top of the article about the ‘inevitable’ attacks upon your network. And that’s the simple reality of the world in which we all now exist. Cyber-attacks on your network are a matter of when, not if.

Which is why maintaining a constant vigilance is so crucial.

At the crux of this is the fact that malware comes in a many guises and is an ever evolving problem. New variations and increasingly inventive (if that’s the word) ways to breach a network appear all the time. And it’s something upon which those involved with cyber-security need to stay on top of.

This can be a two-fold approach. First by understanding your own network, analysing where potential weak-spots or vulnerabilities may lie. And of course, remaining on top of new malware strains that are prevalent at any given time.

As with any kind of security procedure, intelligence and knowledge can be powerful allies.

Make Security Part of Company Culture

Attacks can damage the business, sometimes irreparably. As such, you really need to install a collective responsibility across the company for network safety.

Any employee who handles data, or uses the network for email, IM, or other online communication (so, basically everyone) needs to be aware of best practice when it comes to online security.

Vigilance on emails and similar contact is especially important in this regard as it represents a clear vulnerable access point. We’d like to think that everyone is more acutely attuned to the threats of opening unknown attachments or downloading files. But the online ne’er do-wells grow increasingly sneaky in this regard. We might all spot the scam when that large inheritance can be claimed from the unknown African uncle.

But are your employees as clued in to notice that invoice attachment from Sue, at the company you’ve never heard of?

Update Your Software

Anti-malware software offers a great barrier against unwanted, unpleasant and damaging software. And a good, enterprise level programme can really deliver peace of mind safety for users and the company. However, its effectiveness is jeopardised if you are not diligent in its upkeep.

We’ve already said that malware is an evolving problem. And your software needs to evolve in order to cope with such changing threats. It’s therefore an imperative that you are on top of all updates so that you know that your software is as robust as it can be at all times.

Malware and other cyber-attacks are a very real and very potent danger to your IT network. They can attack businesses large and small. And they definitely will.

If you’re not protected, then you’re risking your business’ future.

So, as any good cub scout will tell you – BE PREPARED.

Email Security Diagnostic from Foration

Paul Weeden

Written by Paul Weeden

Founder & Managing Director at Foration. IT and technology fixer.

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