What is a computer virus?
Before outlining what measures you can take to protect your computer, it’s perhaps more useful to understand what a computer virus actually is. There are many forms of threatening viruses but perhaps the worst kind that can affect your business is what’s known as ‘Ransomware’. This does what it says, it holds your files and data to ransom within your system or server. It works by encrypting certain data so that you can no longer access it. Financial gain is brought about by these hackers requesting a ransom from those affected, often in means that are difficult to trace such as Bitcoin or Locky ransomware. What’s more important is figuring out the best methods of virus protection to protect yourself and your business from such threats:
1. Backup, and then back up again
Making regular backups of the encrypted data is vital, it means that is simple and easy to recover. Nonetheless, this isn’t bullet proof. If you can, you need to make sure that you’re able to form backups that aren’t attached to the same server or system, as these are also likely to be affected if that’s the case. ESP Projects believe backup is one on the most important elements of any IT network, read about our hosted backup service.
2. ‘Click to open attachment’
This is an old school way for infesting someone’s system with an issue such as Ransomware. Even if the email looks legitimate and it’s from a company that you would usually trust, but you’re not certain that it was meant for you and seems out of place, don’t open the attachment! If all else seems irrelevant, either delete it or contact your email service provider.
3. Get rid of those macros
There is an inbuilt script within Microsoft Office apps that links data, these are called macros. This scripting can be manipulated to run a much more harmful form of code that will link through the automation in other files that also use macros.
4. Remote desktop protocol
If you’re a company that tends to use remote desktopping then this is something you may wish to consider revising in order to increase your virus protection. If access is required then it’s perhaps safest to consider locking the access down to an external IP address meaning you’ll only access this from your own internet connection.
5. Anti-virus protection
The last and perhaps most obvious suggestion to help increase the safety of your systems and servers. Keeping them up to date is less obvious, new virus signatures are made all the time so make sure you don’t become complacent! A trusted firewall that’s linked into the ‘Tor’ (aka Hidden web) is also recommended to be used alongside a good anti-virus software.
Ultimately, you want to keep your businesses details safe and secure whilst also making sure that you have the optimal systems working. These tips are meant to benefit your business and stop you being a victim of such attacks. The most important thing to bear in mind is that hackers and malware becomes more intelligent all the time so arguably just staying up to date is the most essential tip out of all of the above.
If you have any questions on the above topics please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our IT Support Sheffield team.