Small Businesses Must Be Wary of Malware Attacks

Small Businesses Must Be Wary of Malware Attacks

While it can be easy for companies to say they have a comprehensive plan for how to deal with potential security breaches, the fact of the matter is that they are likely to still be vulnerable in a number of ways. One of the biggest is as a result of malware that can be loaded onto a company computer – or even an employee’s personal device – which can then worm its way into the entire system.

Malware poses a unique problem for many companies in that it can come in many forms and be very difficult to spot even for properly trained workers, according to a report from the Raleigh News Observer. One of the more malicious forms that’s now cropping up all over the internet is known as “ransomware.” Through such a program, as the name suggests, the virus takes control of the computer – or an entire system – slowing it to a crawl, encrypting random files, and then informing the user via a special pop-up window that unless they pay a certain amount of money to unlock the program, the problem will persist. One of the most popular versions of this kind of program has only existed since September, and has already affected 25 million systems worldwide, 70 percent of which are in the U.S.

Another problem, too, is that in many cases, this type of file can appear innocuous, or even be loaded onto a system without the user knowing it, the report said. Often, the issue can be as simple as clicking the wrong link or opening an email attachment that they shouldn’t have.

How to approach the problem?
The issue is that once computers are infected, there’s little recourse companies might have to protect themselves, the report said. While the FBI recommends not giving in to the ransom demands of the hackers behind the program, many small businesses who suffer such issues see little other recourse. However, those that have not yet been affected in this way might want to educate employees and beef up anti-virus and other security software protections they’ve already put in place.

Owners might also want to consider the ways in which they can better prepare themselves for any kind of computer security issue, such as through a specific kind of small business insurance policy known as tech insurance. Data breaches can costs companies tens of thousands of dollars or more to remediate, and this coverage helps them better handle such costs.