The click of a link or a downloaded file may seem innocent enough, but if it contains malware your entire network may be compromised. Malware attacks are on the rise and are difficult and expensive to recover from.

Taking some simple steps to prevent these attacks will drastically reduce your risk of becoming a victim:

  1. Install a comprehensive security suite. Software that scans downloaded files, blocks suspicious websites and scans the computer for malware regularly is a valuable tool in preventing attacks. The more protection your security suite provides, the more likely it is to catch an attack before it harms your system. Make sure to keep your software up to date to stay ahead of evolving threats.
  2. Be aware of the dangers. Malware can lurk in a variety of places, including downloaded files, embedded in links and ads and text messages. All files should be treated as potential threats, even if they come from known senders. Every downloaded file should be scanned and suspicious links and websites should be avoided.
  3. Verify unexpected emails, links and files. Often hackers spread malware using the contact list from an infected system. If you receive an email with links or attachments that looks odd or is unexpected, contact the sender to verify its validity before opening it. This will protect you from becoming infected, and alert your colleague to the infection if there is one.
  4. Do not allow personal devices on the network. One bad decision is all it takes to infect your entire network. Reduce the risk by not allowing personal devices onto your business network. All company devices should be protected and employees bound to an acceptable-use policy.
  5. Provide on-going education. While the IT team can help control a situation when malware is detected, the security of your network really depends on each individual user. Providing periodic training, updates and reminders will help ensure that all employees are aware of the dangers and the necessity of cooperating with company policy to reduce the risk of malware attacks.

Preventing a malware attack is much easier than recovering from one. By educating all employees about the risks and taking proper precautions, including the use of a comprehensive security suite, you can reduce the risk of succumbing to a malware attack.