How to know if your business has been infected with a virus
No one thinks their business will be infected by a computer virus but it really can happen to a company of any size or status. As a business the last thing you want is to impact your reputation and a data breach of customer data could do just this, not to mention the added impact a potential fine could have on your bottom line. Sounds extreme, but unfortunately a virus really can have this dramatic impact on a business that isn’t protected.
The questions to ask here are how would you know if your systems were compromised and would you know what to do to resolve the issue and continue with business as usual?
Unfortunately many of the symptoms of a virus can be overlooked due to being common day-to-day issues that a colleague may not consider important enough to report.
Symptoms of a Malware virus:
- Your computer suddenly runs slower than usual
- There are icons on your desktop that you don’t recognise
- Your computer restarts itself (apart from scheduled Windows updates)
- You are notified of clients receiving emails that you didn’t send
- Your web browser’s default homepage has changed
- You receive numerous pop-up messages
- You receive a pop-up message demanding payment to unlock your computer
If you or your colleague experiences any of the above, it is important to disconnect the computer from the Internet and contact your IT support team. Changing passwords will not help if a keystroke logging malware has infected your systems.
Now you know the symptoms, how do viruses get the opportunity to infect your IT systems in the first place?
Three ways a virus could infect your firm
1- Opening an email attachment
An email from what looks like a known source, asking you or a colleague to open a downloaded document. All it takes is for the attachment to be opened and suddenly the virus will run key logging malware that can detect every keystroke made.
2- Copycat websites
An email is received asking a colleague to update their membership details. The style and tone of the email looks just like others received before and the link in the email takes them to website that doesn’t cause any concerns. Only the sender wasn’t legitimate and the website was a fraudulent one, designed to capture personal data and infect your systems.
3- Downloading software
At lunchtime or in the evening, your colleague uses their work laptop to download music, a game or a film. Only the software had a virus and not only has their laptop been infected, but when they connect to the network, the whole system is at risk.
These are just three ways in which your firm could be affected. Showing how easy it can be for anyone in the team to put your data and the firm at risk.
Keeping your firm safe
How confident are you in your IT security? Have you got an IT strategy and has it been reviewed recently? Do your colleagues know what to do if they think their computer has been infected and are their internal guidelines regarding IT usage?
The NHS wasn’t target directly in the recent virus attacks, they merely had vulnerable systems and processes. With up-to-date security systems and back-up services, your business and your customers’ data, will be in safe hands.