The threat of acquiring malware on an office network is one that cannot be underestimated. New methods of delivering this type of malicious software are being developed every day. Network administrators and information technology (IT) professionals must work harder each passing year in order to stop fragments of harmful programs from reaching computer systems within a company. There are a few steps that every business can take in order to stop viruses and malware from violating a private network.
Restrict Employee Access
One of the main ways that viruses and malware can enter the systems of an online business is through employee actions. This could be an employee who circumvents policy to visit a social media site or it could be an individual who is unknowingly infecting systems by copying files from a thumb drive to office computers. Employee access to critical systems and the Internet should be tightly controlled, monitored and restricted to ensure that there is no channel where a virus of malware could be transferred into the company.
Test All Applications Before Deployment
New e-commerce modules, web applications or internal content management systems are usually scanned for viruses and malware before being installed and put to use. Custom applications that are coming from outside vendors might have fallen prey to malware or viruses during development. This means that all new software should be installed and tested on a sandbox system before being fully deployed to ensure there are no problems.
Physical Server Security
It is important to have a physical security system in place in order to prevent or capture moments where a server is being accessed without authorization. Security systems and camera setups like those from Vivint can help to monitor server rooms and workstations to ensure that malicious hackers or absent-minded employees are not putting the security of the company at risk. Vivint reviews show that just the presence of working cameras can deter this type of activity.
Use Independent Firewalls
Some online companies bundle the main firewall on a shared system that might also contain a simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP) server. This can give malicious software or viruses a foothold that could allow Trojans or other viruses to gain access to passwords and other encrypted data leaving the main network. This risk can be mitigated through the use of a single independent firewall server that can be closely monitored and that does not have access to critical processes.
Install Security Updates
Some IT departments avoid installing security patches and updates for software and operating systems because it could interfere with custom configurations. It is important to take the time to examine these updates and to install them properly in order to close security gaps that could be exploited by viruses or malware.
Protecting an office from viruses requires vigilance at all times. It also requires the scrutiny of every piece of software and data that moves through the network. A combination of software-based detection programs, strict employee policies and defensive hardware can reduce the risk significantly.
Amanda Green is a guest writer who has written extensively on the subject of business and personal finance.
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