Guest Column | May 4, 2015

The Best Approach To Defend Your SMB Clients Against Malware

By Eric Penney, Owner, RGP Computers, ASCII Group (Canada) Member Since 2013

If you use a computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone then you are at risk of being infected with malware. Malware comes in many varieties but none of them are beneficial to a company and some, without proper security plans already in place, could force you or your clients out of business. Would your company be able to continue if it lost access to all of your accounting data? If customers learned that the account details or private information regarding them was now in the hands of hackers because of a breach of systems would they understand? Imagine having every file on your computers and servers lost forever.

In recent years a burgeoning type of infection is called “ransomware” of which Cryptolocker is probably the most recognized. This type of malware will secretly encrypt the files on your computer and possibly any other computers within your network, and thereby restrict access to them unless you pay a specified “ransom.” People have lost all of their documents, emails, spreadsheets, accounting data and even personal pictures and videos as a result of these types of infections.

Malware can enter your network through a variety of methods such as a link in a phishing email, a post or drive by dropper on a website even through regular USB keys everyone uses to store data. The best approach for SMBs to take to defend against malware of course is to protect against it ever getting in, but also vitally important and often overlooked, you have to plan on how you will react if it ever does. You can’t just rely on the fact that because you have firewalls, antivirus programs, antimalware applications and DNS filtering that you are safe. After all, the Titanic was unsinkable too, right? You have to believe that the day will come when somehow, someway you will become infected. When it does, the first questions we usually hear are, “How did I become infected? I have antivirus programs don’t I?”

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