Best Practices to Lower Your Chances of Becoming a Victim of Malware

By Kevin Beasley

JuralMin / Pixabay

Last year, the CEO and CFO of a European public company fell victim of cyber fraud that ultimately cost them their jobs and the company 42 million Euros. The attacker(s) impersonated a senior board member and emailed the finance department requesting a money transfer from the company’s account. The missteps taken by the CEO and CFO put the company under hot water and into a situation no company expects to see themselves. The unfortunate reality is that this type of executive targeted cyber-attack, often referred to as whaling, is more common than one would expect, and it is just one of many ways cyber criminals inflict damage to businesses. From technology to personnel, chances are most businesses aren’t doing all they can to protect themselves against malware. Although there are no 100 percent foolproof methods, here are best practices every company should establish to lower their chances of becoming a victim of malware.

Deploy Network Security

Let’s start with the obvious. Firewalls, antivirus, anti-malware and anti-exploit technology work. Arming your technology with firewalls and antivirus programs is a great first-line defense that will detect and block known malware from infecting your device. Anti-malware and anti-exploit technology such as intrusion detection system, (IDS) and intrusion prevention system, (IPS) are more sophisticated programs that can fend off attacks from otherwise unknown agents.

Best practice when using network security software is to use different brands at different points. For example, use one product scan engine for email, a different one for desktops, and a different one at the firewall level. Different security products use different algorithms to identify and block threats. That way, if malware gets through one algorithm, there is another algorithm in place to catch it before it gets to infect your device.

Beware of Plugins

Advertisements that display on websites while you are browsing the web can be more than an annoyance – they can actually pose a security threat. One avenue for malware to infect your device is through malware embedded in advertisements that utilize plug-ins such as Flash or Java– and they can live on the most well-known, trusted websites. To protect your device, disable dangerous plug-ins, or at least enable click-to-play plugins. This prevents Flash or Java-based ads from playing unless you specifically click on it.

Flash has been one of the primary avenues for malware to infect devices, so you may consider removing Flash entirely from your device. Estimates are that only 15% of websites still use Flash, and for this very reason, most modern website now utilize HTML5 and JavaScript.

Read Emails with Care

If you receive an email from a sender you don’t recognize or appears suspicious, then it’s probably best to delete it. If you do open the email, it’s recommended that you don’t click any links in the email. The same goes for any emails that have content that sounds questionable. Many times, cyber criminals will blast out emails that are from seemingly reliable sources such as banks or other companies you may use. However, there may Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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