Everything you need to know about how to protect business and company from cyber attacks
In today’s 24/7/365 business world and especially if you’re based in the country’s capital, London, chances are your IT infrastructure is constantly connected to the Internet. That means it’s constantly under threat from a wide range of cyber attacks from around the world.
According to recent research, during the second quarter of 2019 businesses in the UK faced over 146,000 attempted cyber attacks. That’s one every 50 seconds and a jump of 179% on the same quarter in 2018.
So how do you protect your company from cyber attacks?
Start with antivirus software
Antivirus software is the ‘policeman’ at the gate of your IT infrastructure. It not only protects your business, system, devices, people and customers from incoming threats, it also seeks out, destroys and warns of others.
So here’s where we take a closer look at antivirus software, including:
- The risks of not having it
- What threats will antivirus software protect you against?
- What to consider before choosing your antivirus software?
- How else can you protect your business?
Antivirus software – the risks of not having it
We’re often asked by our London-based clients, ‘How can companies protect against hackers?’ Truth is, if you don’t have antivirus software installed throughout your IT infrastructure you’re opening yourself up to many threats that can infect your whole system in minutes, such as:
Protect access to your devices
Whether it’s for fun, to damage or to steal, cybercriminals can gain access to your unprotected devices and either corrupt, encrypt or copy the data held on them
Information and identities
Cybercriminals stealing your customers’ personal identifiable information (PII) is commonplace. It can lead to you being prosecuted under the recent GDPR regulation, meaning fines of up to €20 million or 4% of turnover.
Plus they can prevent a virus on one device infecting others on the same network, preventing cross-contamination.
What threats will antivirus software protect you against?
Antivirus software can protect your organisation against a variety of cyber threats including:
Malware, short for malicious software, is a catch-all term for threats designed to secretly infiltrate and harm your network and devices.
Adware and spyware
This is malware that’s often embedded in free software – unknown to the user of course – to collect data or steal information.
With this malware cybercriminals mine your devices for crytocurrency.
This is when seemingly safe links found in websites, e-mails or online adverts, take you to malicious sites that can then gather personal data and login credentials.
Like phishing attacks, pharming can manipulate website traffic to redirect you from a legitimate site to a malicious one in order to steal confidential information.
Ransomware encrypts and blocks access to your data and programs until you pay a fee to restore them. Although even paying the fee doesn’t fix the problem.
This is code that looks legitimate but isn’t and if one of your team is tricked into downloading and executing it, the code takes control of your computer to carry out malicious actions.
As the name suggests, a virus is harmful software that replicates itself and spreads.
Rootkits are imbedded deep inside a computer to mask other malware.
These remotely take over a computer to use as a source for automatic spamming and other crimes.
These tend to attack networks rather than computers but can carry malware that’s then deposited on devices.
Dangerous or damaging messages
Whether it’s instant messages or e-mails, these can contain dangerous attachments or fraudulent links.
What to consider before choosing your antivirus software
What do your people and your enterprise need?
How many devices do you have? Are they fixed, portable or mobile? What applications do you use? Is your organisation PC or Mac based or both.
Cybercriminals can target software and hardware vulnerabilities that affect all computers, operating systems and platforms, so a good security suite offers broad protection for multiple devices like PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets. The golden rule is to protect everything.
What kind of support do you need or expect?
Different antivirus solutions come with varying levels of support, flexibility and add-ons. You need features like real-time protection from malware and viruses, automatic data backup and end-user controls.
Do you have to pay for antivirus software?
There are free antivirus software packages out there but they may sell your information to third-party companies and open up your devices to advertisements. Built in antivirus software – such as Windows Defender – can be effective but isn’t always enough on its own.
What about protection on the move?
If your team travels and accesses a public Wi-Fi network, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides online privacy and anonymity by using a private network not a public internet connection.
The threats don’t stand still, neither should your antivirus software
Cyber threats continue to evolve so look for an antivirus solution that will do the same to identify and protect your technology from the very latest threats.
How else can you protect your business?
Antivirus software is the only weapon in your IT security armoury, other steps you can take include:
Hardware and software firewalls monitor your inbound and outbound web traffic and block access to perceived threats.
Use the ‘3-2-1 Rule’ which means having three copies of your data (on a workstation, in the cloud and on an external drive array, for example) and on two different forms of media (hard drive and the cloud, for example) with one complete copy held offsite.
Always implement the updates your software providers supply. These include patches to fix glitches and make their product more secure against known threats.
Exercise control over who has use of your IT and why. Controls can range from limiting which employees, contractors and temps have access to your network and filtering which websites they can visit to restricting who’s allowed to download files and updates and run code.
Your people are inadvertently your weakest link, even with the most sophisticated IT security defence systems in place. So train yours effectively in digital and data security practices.
You cannot afford to cut corners
To be safe and sure, you need to protect your network and all your devices with a sophisticated and comprehensive security solution – with antivirus software at its heart – to provide multiple layers of protection.
As the award-winning go to IT support team for London, we’re experts in cyber security, so why not call us for a confidential, no obligation chat about your requirements.