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Why Do All Of My Staff Need To Understand The Risks Posed By Malware?

Why Do All Of My Staff Need To Understand The Risks Posed By Malware?

If you run a business with one or more internet-enabled devices, you need a dedicated strategy in place to ensure your staff are aware of the risks posed by malicious downloads and hacks. While not all hacks are preventable, a savvy workforce lowers the risk that your company will fall victim to many of the common ploys cybercriminals use.

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Malware relies on user confusion, ignorance of the warning signs of infection, misdirection, and misinformation to work undetected. Similarly, major malware distributors such as phishing sites, spoofed login pages, and misleading banner ads rely on user naiveté to work as vectors for infection. A well-informed workplace is a safer and stronger one when it comes to working together online.

What Is Malware And Why Is It A Threat?

Malware has existed since the late 1980s. The name refers to any computer program or app designed to cause deliberate harm to a user, network, or organisation, using information technology. It is usually transferred and distributed via the Internet but can also travel from machine to machine on removable media and local networks. For obvious reasons, designing and distributing malware is illegal worldwide.

What each variant of malware does can be as innocuous as injecting pop-up ads into browser windows and downloading unwanted programs, or as dangerous as deleting files, wrecking vital systems, and stealing bank account details.

Every piece of malware should be considered a potential threat to your company, your users, and your profits - even if only as an unwanted distraction. Malware detection and removal eats up valuable time and resources better spent elsewhere.

It's also worth remembering that companies are now obliged (by law) to provide a decent level of online security and data protection. You may prove liable for damages under GDPR if customer, client, or staff data is leaked via a breach or hack. Personal information stolen by malware can expose the company to further attacks – such as blackmail – particularly if sensitive financial data is copied, encrypted, or lost.

Not everyone knows that malware exists, and not everyone knows what it looks like and how it behaves on a modern operating system. Raising awareness amongst your employees is the first step towards protecting your business and customers.


Prevention: Better Than Cure?

By educating your employees as to what malware looks like and how it spreads, you can catch infections before they get out of hand. Staff should be taught the basics of what phishing and scamming webpages look like, not to click on suspicious attachments or links, to alert IT administrators and supervisors if their machine is slow or misbehaving, and to keep a lookout for unauthorised access attempts. Encourage your users to report any signs of infection to IT administrators as soon as they recognise them.


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If you need tips on malware prevention and how to combat it, call or email us today. We're experienced in developing custom IT asset disposal strategies that keep companies safe, informed, and productive.


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