Today’s IT environment is littered with constant attacks to compromise the security of your data. In SMB networks a structured, layered approach to IT security is often overlooked as business owners have more pressing issues to consider.
Many business owners consider basic or even free Anti-Virus products sufficient to protect their PC and the data stored on them. In actual fact the recent proliferation of Ransomware most common AV products don’t even detect the Malware. It’s not until you find many of your files encrypted and inaccessible that they realise something is wrong.
Malicious attacks on your systems come from many angles and generally they are opportunistic in their nature rather than targeted at your particular business. We observe that currently email is the most popular method of distributing software designed to infiltrate your system, organised crime gangs are central to this approach as it is cheap to obtain mass email lists and easy to send millions of emails in a blanket approach. These emails may contain an attachment with malware and when opened the software is quickly and quietly installed in your system.
The other method is via a link in the email that takes you to a nasty website that will use your browser to install some software in your system. These emails are often cleverly designed and look like an email from the Australian Federal Police a bank or energy provider.
A structured approach to IT security is the best method to mitigate the risk of an outbreak in your network.
- Our first approach to security focuses on email and reducing the amount of SPAM coming in to your network. To achieve this, we redirect email through a third party anti-spam service. This has two benefits in that 1 it is relatively easy to setup and 2 that most SPAM will never hit your PC so staff can’t open them and it doesn’t fill up email servers and doesn’t consumer your internet bandwidth.
- Our second recommendation is to have a good quality firewall to protect the network traffic that flows in and out of your business. A good firewall will have several features that can benefit your IT Security. It will provide Anti-Virus and Anti-Spam blocking before they hit your PC’s. It also provides base level hacking prevention for your network and you can also utilise web filtering features to prevent click throughs to undesirable websites.
- You need to have a robust Anti-Virus service installed on all the PC’s and Servers in your network. Whilst it is noted that most Ransomware and other Malware type infections are not picked up you can also install alongside your AV an Antimalware product such as Malware Bytes.
- Educate your users! Many business owners groan at this advice but in essence we note most malware finds its way in to companies because a staff member opened the wrong email attachment or clicked a link they shouldn’t. Our primary advice here is that if they don’t know where it is from just delete the email and definitely don’t open attachments or links. The Australian Federal Police or your bank will always send a letter if it is important enough!
Our final piece of advice is to have an effective backup system (but that’s a whole new blog!), when it all goes pear shaped this is your final piece of insurance. If your worried about your IT Security and would like it reviewed, please contact our office.