Three new ways malware infects systems

2013Nov12_Security_CThere are many ways which malware can be introduced to computer systems, even those protected by anti-virus scanners or other security measures. Here are three developing security issues you should be aware of:

1. Attacking remote users

Traditionally, business was  carried out in a physical office. This meant that companies only had to protect internal networks and systems. However, businesses are increasingly going mobile and relying on off-site workers. Problems can arise though when steps are not taken to ensure the security of these endpoints – laptops, tablets, mobile devices, etc.

Hackers know this, and have started to attack remote workers who may not be as secure as the company’s internal systems. This becomes an even bigger issue when an infected device is brought back to the office and connected to the network – possibly introducing malware into the system. It’s necessary to ensure that all remote employees and mobile devices are secure in order to protect your core systems. Also, users of laptops and mobile devices must be made to follow the same security protocols that are used on-site and in-house.

2. USB infections

The majority of malware is introduced to systems via the Internet and websites. For this reason, almost all virus-scanners focus on web-based intrusions. To a large extent, these scanners do what they are supposed to and keep companies secure. But hackers are always looking for new ways to attack systems, and one avenue is through USB drives.

Some of the more common USB-based malware takes advantage of Auto-Run, which automatically opens an external hard drive or USB flash drive when one of these items is plugged in. The malware on the drive is configured to install itself when the drive boots up and is accessed, thus creating an infection.

To limit the chances of being infected by malware, you should either provide drives for your employees to use, or approve drives that come in from outside sources. If you use USB drives to transfer files or share files between computers, consider other options like cloud storage drives. Finally, disabling Auto-Run and scanning drives with a virus-scanner (many programs can do this) can go a long way toward deterring infections.

3. Anti-virus misses malware

Anti-virus scanners and other software can deter malware infections, but these programs usually require daily or weekly updates. The updates contain information about recently discovered forms of malware, along with detection and handling rules.

However, many companies may not be allowing the virus scanners to update. If this is the case, your systems are at an increased risk of being infected by newer malware. Therefore, ensure that your anti-virus scanners are not only up-to-date, but are set to scan on regular intervals.

Beyond this, it is important to know that while anti-virus scanners will go a long way in preventing infections, they are often a step behind the newest malware. Taking steps to prevent malware, such as limiting downloads, educating employees about the risks, and establishing a security policy can be a big help.

Finally, if you are worried about the security of your systems, working with an IT partner like Providence can prove to be one of the most successful ways of minimizing security threats. We can implement a plan to lower infection rates, and employ experts who are able to work with you to restore your systems quickly should they become affected.

If you are looking to make your business more secure, get in touch with us today.

Published with permission from Source.

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