IT Security for Small Business – Five-Layer Protection Recommendations

The security company Kaspersky recently reported detecting 1.8 million different malicious programs in 2013. That means there are at least 1.8 million different computer viruses, hoaxes and malware out there aimed at attacking your business.

Our experience is things are getting worse. There are more creative ways these security threats can get onto your computer and the consequences of an infection are harsher.

Ransomware viruses are stealing people’s data and accessing their bank accounts (see our article on Cryptolocker for more). Spoofing emails look more and more legitimate and lead to confused computer users clicking a link they shouldn’t or opening a dangerous attachment.

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1 - Five-Layer Anti-Virus and Malware Protection

You should have five layers of anti-virus and malware protection in your organization:

  • Gateway security – your firewall should stop many threats from getting onto your network by inspecting incoming and outgoing traffic and blocking malicious activity.
  • Hosted anti-spam – many threats come through email. Strong anti-spam protection should eliminate these and prevent them from getting into users’ inboxes.
  • Endpoint anti-virus and anti-malware protection – all computers and servers should have anti-virus software running on them that is centrally managed and updated to detect any infections.
  • Mobile device anti-virus and anti-malware – we have to start protecting our mobile devices now too as hackers are writing malware for them.
  • Network monitoring – ongoing monitoring can pick up signs of virus or malware infection and stop an infection from spreading.

2 - Hoax Alert! Show Them to Staff and Educate People

We have all received that email from the Nigerian official who is happy to share his millions of dollars with you if you just send him a quick email. It is important to talk to your colleagues about emails like these or ones pretending to be from banks, couriers, Apple, Microsoft or other companies.

Many offices will get viruses because people click on these links which then install malware on a computer, sometimes spreading throughout the network. The more you educate your team, the more you can prevent infections like these!

3 - Back Your Stuff Up

These viruses and malware can severely damage your network and data. The only way to ensure that you have a powerful virus protection system is through strong backup software that is image-based and has retention policies so you can go back to before the infection to restore data.

We have many clients who have had users make a bad decision but be saved by their backup software and procedures. Don’t let your organization be a victim to an infection you can’t recover from!