Malware attacks on small businesses has increased manifold in the last couple of years. The stakes are high for these businesses that often don’t have the resources or expertise, to handle the consequences of a security breach. Handling cyber vulnerabilities needs a proactive approach, where businesses take precautionary measures and preventive steps to avoid malware in the first place. Below is an overview of some of the simplest ways to keep malware at bay.
- Start with passwords. Ensure that all default passwords are changed immediately, and it is also important to keep an eye on how employees are setting passwords. Establish a clear set of protocols for the same. For example, passwords must be at least 10 characters long and should have passphrases, special characters, and numbers.
- If your employees are not using a password manager, as yet, it is time to do the same. ensure that your company also updates all firmware and software programs to the latest versions. Patches are relevant and can help in fixing security flaws that have been detected and fixed in the new update.
- Consider using antimalware software. There are different kinds of software for malware protection, and your business should consider investing in at least one. Antivirus and antimalware products can alert your business on suspicious activities, files, emails, and websites.
- Identify all malware threats. Hackers often rely on a wide range of malware types to cause damage to businesses. Ransomware, adware, spyware, botnets, viruses, worms, and trojans, are some of the common types of malware, and each one is preventable, with precautionary measures.
- Train and educate employees. Employees need to know how to spot a phishing email, or ways in which malware attacks can be prevented. Make it mandatory to access company resources on secured networks, and all networked devices must be placed behind firewalls.
- Use extra authentication. From using lockout feature, to adding a second or third layer of authentication through security questions or use of OTPs and biometrics can be really handy. Make sure that this is used effectively for privilege accounts and users.
- Finally, find a way to handle malware attacks. Your incident response plan is a critical component of your cybersecurity policy and must be elaborate and well-defined. The IT team should know what must be done, in case there is a malware attack. In general, the device or subnetwork affected with malware must be first isolated.
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