Business 101: 5 basic guidelines and tips for preventing malware attacks

Malware, also called malicious software, is one of the common cybersecurity concerns looming over businesses. There are two ways attackers use malware. The first one is called network scanning, where the network vulnerabilities are exploited by doing network scans, and once the hacker has figured a loophole, the system will be infected with malware. This malware can infect other systems, as well. The other common technique is called phishing, which is about tricking the user into installing a software or plugin that can infect systems and fetch valuable information. How can your company prevent a malware attack? The idea is to take proactive stance towards cybersecurity, and we have the following recommendations for your help. 

  1. Use firewalls. Firewalls are the best way to protect systems and devices from untrusted networks. Firewalls are often ignored, but these are your primary defense system against a possible malware attack. 
  2. Use network segmentation. The term ‘network segmentation’ may seem complicated, but it basically means dividing a large network into smaller networks, which are not connected. As a result, if there is a compromise on one network, it wouldn’t affect the others. 
  3. Watch what’s installed. Businesses also forget that old apps, software and programs must be removed from time to time. Make sure that every device is checked and accounted for, because these are often the smallest loopholes that hackers are looking for. 
  4. Update firmware. Make sure that all firmware and software programs are updated to the latest versions. This also includes firmware for your IP cameras and other products. Updating just ensures that all the bugs and security vulnerabilities are patched for. Most manufacturers will offer firmware on their website. 
  5. Follow basic rules for passwords. First and foremost, all default passwords must be changed immediately, and this holds true for every product, device and system. Secondly, new passwords need to be strong, with at least 10 characters, special characters, numbers, uppercase & lowercase letters in inclusion. 

Finally, ensure that all networks, devices and systems are scanned for security issues. Businesses need to understand that while cybersecurity loopholes hide in plain sight, others are often serious and may not seem obvious. Do your homework and ensure that your employees are aware of the best cybersecurity practices. Keep a watch on privilege accounts, and let managers know what malware attacks can do and how small steps can go a long way in preventing a cyberattack.