On a personal level, cybercriminals look for credit card numbers and bank account information, but at the business level, they’re seeking access to your company and network resources including assets, business applications and sensitive information.
Reducing your vulnerability to virus attacks means you have to take the time to determine how your company’s computer usage, habits and types of software installed, might expose it to a virus, or worse, ransomware. In the long run, your company will benefit from taking the time to safeguard your network by working with computer experts that regularly install security patches and updates to significantly reduce your risk of viral attack.
Habits that can increase risk of vulnerability:
- Using Adobe Reader/Acrobat with default settings;
- Assuming your antivirus provides 100% protection;
- Not applying security patches for ALL programs;
- Not reading through your end user license agreement (EULA) before clicking “I Accept”; and
- Not taking proper precautions when using wireless Internet
Your software is a valuable target for five reasons:
- It’s flawed.
- Software vendors can hardly keep up with the way cyber criminals exploit vulnerabilities in their products.
- It’s used by millions.
- It gives hackers access to your computer in minutes.
- You’re sometimes careless when using the Internet. (We’ve all been there.)
As the primary operating platform used by PCs, Windows, no matter which version, needs to be kept updated with all available system and security patches from Microsoft. Your computer expert third-party vendor can set updates to automatically install.
The global WannaCry ransomware attack that hit unpatched Windows systems in May and spread rapidly around the world over the course of several hours did prompt Microsoft to issue a security update for its retired Windows XP system, a fix that also blocked last week’s Petya worm. However, regular updates are not expected because according to Microsoft, the decision to release updates for Windows XP was an exception based on threat risks and the potential impact to its customers. The company recommends that customers upgrade to the latest version of Windows.
As the years go on, finding programs for the outdated system (first introduced back in 2001) will be difficult, as most companies stopped developing software for Windows XP years ago.
For example, Mozilla Firefox is one of the few major web browsers that still support Windows XP, although the company says it will provide Firefox security updates only until September. If you want to keep using a Windows XP machine on the internet, third-party security software may be the only shield you have left from online threats.
At ITG, we help you avoid network breaches by providing your business with a comprehensive network security audit that outlines potential vulnerabilities. Our approach is to provide your company with a list of potential security threats, provide remediation efforts and prevent any addressed security risks. We have the computer and network security expertise to help you plan, install, optimize and manage the complex network infrastructure that enables your critical business applications.
Keep your network safe! Contact us today for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 518.479.3881.