Strategies For Defending Against Malware

At one time or another, almost everyone has been infected with Malware or Viruses. The telltale signs are a slower responding PC, Popups, Blue Screen, Browser home page is odd or unknown hard drive activity. And any PC on a network has the potential risk of sharing that Malware.  So what are the best strategies to fight against Malware?

It can wreak havoc on productivity. And they always seem to appear at the wrong time. And some of the new Malware variants/payloads can be quite destructive and/or expensive…think ransomware like CryptoWall, Trojans, keyloggers, password stealers, worms, spyware and rootkits.

The hackers or malware writers and attackers use a variety methods, techniques and vectors to spread malware. Among them are spam, social engineering, web sites/links, and “free” apps.

So what should we do? There are actions we can take to minimize and prevent malware infections. Planning, monitoring and education are all key. The current thinking on malware is more focused on incident response than prevention. It appears the “bad guys” have techniques and methods that can exploit many of the prevention tools and methods we have (zero-day infections, multi-faceted attacks, etc).

The following are some key components to fighting and preparing for these attacks:

  • Educate – work on educating your staff on how malware infects systems – key on browsing and email.
  • Threat Response – when a virus or malware infection hits, have a plan of action written out including actions and tools (what we will use & what we will do).
  • Installing Antivirus Apps – install AV and make sure the virus definitions are routinely updated.
  • Monitoring –systems and network traffic where likely infections can take place – time to recognize is key.
  • Reinforce education to staff – education & training is worthwhile.
  • Engage a Managed Service to manage AV – Monitor, Updates and Threat/Status Reporting.

Remember that this is just one facet to your cyber security. It is one area that you can increase your readiness and security posture to keep your organization protected and productive. Our engineering staff have a number of specific tools and methods that they love to share and talk about.

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