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Cyber-Security: Is Your Business Really Protected From Malware Threats?

How would you feel if robbers came into your house, took away everything valuable to you and then left with a note asking for a ransom to get your valuable things back? Annoyed. Restless. Helpless. These are just some of the feelings, to begin with.

Just like the above situation which may occur physically, cyber attackers harm your business virtually. That’s how unprotected and vulnerable your business is.

According to a recent study, £4.9 trillion will be the total cost of cybercrime through the year 2021.

That is one big number!

84538954984 And, it gets even worse. The impact of cybercrime on a business after it has been attacked is beyond imagination. 71 percent of small businesses owners with less than 500 employees are more vulnerable to cyber attacks and a shocking 60% of the victims shut down within six months of the attack.

In this post, I’ll share the possible cyber attacks on your business and how you can protect yourself from potential threats as well.

Let’s begin…

First off, What is Malware?

Malware is the number one threat that can attack your business. Before I begin with security measures, it is important to know what you’re dealing with. So, you need to know what a malware is and its types that are commonly used to attack the business online.

Malware is a term used for any malicious software installed on your system by a third-party to get control of your information and confidential data. Now, a hacker may use this malware to either encrypt your files or monitor your activities depending upon their motive.

Let me tell you the 3 most common forms of malware that may attack your business.

1. Ransomware: I am pretty sure you must know this kind. The recent Wannacry malware was a ransomware that encrypts all the files on the system and then leaves a ransom note with instructions, ransom amount, and bitcoin wallet address.

In this attack, the hacker will encrypt all your files and ask you to pay a ransom amount if you wish to get access to your critical information. Wannacry spread was catastrophic affecting more than 300,000 systems in 150 countries.

In the UK alone, the attack was so massive that it affected NHS services and many hospitals had to decline non-emergency cases until the files were restored.

2. Banking Trojans: Another common form of malware is Banking Trojans where the attacker creates a knock-off replica of the original banking site and may prompt you to share your financial information using a suspicious link or spam email.

Beware of such attacks! Recent Equifax fiasco has risked more than half of Americans’ critical information.

3. PoS Trojans: Most business owners keep a PoS machine for the sake of their customers. It also keeps most transactions digital. But did you know this conveniently small machine can act as the most vulnerable point of attack?

PoS Trojans are malware that infects the PoS machines to steal critical information of consumers. If you have infected PoS machines, disconnect it immediately and report to the authorities.

These kinds of attacks don’t affect just you, but also put your customers at risk. Moreover, the consumer also feels a lack of trust in your brand once such an incident occurs.
Let’s see how Malware has affected the UK economy so far

A new day, a new place and a new malware.

Malware has greatly affected the UK economy for worse. As noted above, the May massacre of Wannacry affected more than 700,000 machines including MRI scanners, Blood-storage refrigerators, Ambulances and may other machines in the hospitals when NHS servers were taken down by the hackers.

When the world thought it was over, another blow hit the economy in the form of another malware.

The infamous NotPetya attack spread in European countries with the biggest footprints in Britain, Ukraine, and Spain.

Famous advertising agency WPP declared they have been affected and had to shut down their work for a while accumulating to loss worth millions.

According to NCA report, the creators of malware are adopted more sophisticated measures to attack the businesses. With IoT, they are now targeting gadgets like Smart TVs, smartwatches and fitness bands as well.

Fact: U.K. Retailers suffered an estimated loss of $850 million(over £517 million) in 2013 and reportedly $575 Billion was the total loss to the global economy due to cyber attacks.

As a business owner, this is your prime responsibility to expect cyber attacks and protect your business and customer information by taking effective measures to detect suspicious patterns and becoming vigilant against these faceless criminals.

10 Steps to Secure Your Business From Cyber Attacks

1. Always use up to date software and avoid using legacy software that doesn’t receive any support from the manufacturers. Install regular patches and ensure your OS is locked at all vulnerable points.

2. Cyber experts suggest that you encrypt all the critical information including employee and customer information, and financial data. Activate inbuilt full-disk encryption tools in your OS and stay safe from cyber threats.

3. Frame a strong cyber-security policy plan and implement it in every process involved in your business to ensure data safety at all levels.

4. Educate your employees about the potential risks and train them to maintain a clean and clear methodology when they use official systems for any personal use.

5. Secure Web Browsing is very important. Ask your system administrator to configure the browser for maximum web security on all the systems on your network.

6. It is always advised to use a wired Internet connection in your office. A wired-network is more secure than a wi-fi network. However, if it is essential to have a wi-fi system, secure it with the latest encryption protocols and a frequently changeable password.

7. An unwritten rule is to install an antivirus and antimalware on all your systems to detect suspicious patterns before the attack and prevent any cyber hackers from entering your network.

8. Once you encrypt your data, ensure that it is stored on a cloud storage or a remote server for maximum security. Also, automate the backup process to keep the latest files in the remote server at any given time.

9. There is no 100% guarantee of your safety. Hence, it is important to have a crisis management plan to better deal with the situation at hand.

10. It is very important to regularly audit all the systems on the network for detecting any suspicious file or activity before it spreads to the whole network.

In Conclusion

Whether small or large, your business is under threat and not safe from any cyber attacks. In this grave situation with an increase in faceless criminals, it is time for you to stand up and protect your business and consumers.

Stay strong, take preventive measures, and always be vigilant.

This article was brought to you by the team at MalwareFox , a new up and coming anti-malware solution for Windows computer.

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