How safe are your workplace's computers from malicious attacks? Most employees are aware that they shouldn't download freeware or click on suspicious links in emails from strangers. However, additional techniques are necessary to protect company computers from unauthorized access. Most businesses would be ruined or experience unproductive downtime if they were severely hacked. Luckily, many attacks are preventable. These three tips will help to safeguard your company's computers from hackers.
1. Keep software updated for each computer on the network.
Each computer on your company's network is a potential liability. That is because each computer comes into contact with the Internet and is susceptible to outside threats.
Answer the following questions regarding every computer in your company:
- What version of operating system is in use? When was the last time an update was performed on it?
- What type of firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software is being used? When was the last time it was updated?
Running updates can cost you an additional fifteen minutes to an hour of downtime. Some sophisticated software must be updated daily, depending on the program, number of users, and software developer. However, performing these updates is worth the initial investment of time.
Why? Because software companies constantly release updates when they find vulnerabilities that can lead to malicious attacks. Additionally, anti-malware software needs to be updated frequently since new viruses, spyware, and other malware crop up daily.
Therefore, check for and run software updates as soon as needed. Also, turn on firewalls for each computer, and server. And run anti-malware scans regularly to fix threats and vulnerabilities before they spread throughout the network to your other computers.
2. Train employees on Internet safety.
Hackers are much more sophisticated in terms of their abilities than they were in previous years. While you will still receive some obviously nefarious emails with misspellings and wild promises, effective hackers have resorted to phishing attacks.
Phishing means that the user is tricked into clicking on a link or divulging information because the website or email looks legitimate. Therefore, the only safeguard against this type of attack is employee training.
If an employee suspects that their computer may have unintentionally been infected with a virus, have the employee immediately run anti-virus software. Quarantine the computer by unplugging it from the network to have it fixed at a different location if necessary. That way, the virus isn't allowed to continue to spread across the network to infect other computers and servers.
3. Limit employee access to the internet.
Hackers plan on employees making mistakes. Employees get bored, and they access questionable websites even though they know they shouldn't. Therefore, have an internet usage policy, and enforce it with consequences.
If an employees doesn't need the Internet to perform his or her job, remove Internet access all together from that terminal. For example, many restaurants and stores only allow employees to access the store's point of sale software.
For more information, contact IT support by Logical Developments or a similar company.