Malware – malicious software – is a major problem for small businesses. These harmful programs can take many forms, and can infect your computer, device, or entire network, compromising your data and threatening your business. What can you do about it? Read on to learn more.
What is Malware?
Malware is any type of software or code designed to harm your devices or network. It can take a variety of forms including Trojan horses, spyware, adware, and ransomware. Sometimes malware is used as a starting point for a deeper infection of your system or that of your clients; other times its goal is to compromise your data. In either case, becoming infected with malware is a serious problem.
What are the Risks?
Any business can be infected by malware, but small businesses are particularly at risk because they do not have the same resources as larger business to invest in anti-virus and anti-malware protections. Over 40% of data breaches affect small businesses. When a small business suffers from a cyberattack, it puts the entire company in jeopardy, with 60% of affected small businesses going out of business within 6 months.
What Protections are There?
Though small businesses have fewer resources to devote to cyber security, it’s essential to take steps to guard your network. Some ways you can protect your business include:
- Stay up to date on software and hardware updates. Anti-virus and anti-malware programs put out frequent updates to protect you from the latest threats, but they only work if you install these updates regularly.
- Train your staff to recognize signs of malware. This includes being aware of suspicious emails and links, and knowing what steps to take. Especially with the rise of mobile devices, it is important that every employee understands how to protect their devices both in and out of the office.
- Use a multi-layered security approach. Encryption, firewalls, endpoint security, and multi-factor authentication can all help limit and protect access to your network.
If you’re not already protecting against malware, it should be a top priority for your company. It is one of the biggest threats to companies today. With small businesses being more vulnerable to going out of business after an attack, it’s a necessary investment into the health of your company.