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How to protect your business from malware

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How to protect your business from malware

For many startup owners, their businesses are almost like their family so protecting them is of upmost importance. There are several reasons why having elite protection is important for startups, including being able to guarantee privacy and safety to your customers and ensuring that any ideas that aren’t patented yet can’t be stolen.

Right from the get-go, all business owners should make protection a priority. There is no point having the greatest business plan in the world if it can be stolen easily by hackers. Today, we’re going to be running through five key tips that will help protect your startup from malware so you can carry on with your day-to-day work worry-free.

How to protect your business from malware

How to protect your business from malware – Five key tips

Install antivirus software

One of the quickest and easiest ways to help protect your business from malware is to simply find a reputable antivirus programme and install it on all of your business’s devices. Some popular operating systems come with antivirus software as standard but they often still need ‘enabling’. If this is the case, then go into your operating system’s settings and ensure you have it switched on.

While this is easily done on desktop computers and laptops, it can sometimes be trickier on smartphones and tablets. Some antivirus software can be found on the App Store or Play Store depending on what phone you have but ensure you do your due diligence on each platform before purchasing or downloading as some viruses mascarade as antivirus software.

Limit permissions

If your business has members of staff then you need to an element of control over their work devices, whether that be phones or laptops. You should ensure that all mobile devices are unable to download apps from third-party platforms (ie apps not directly from the App Store or Play Store). These types of apps are major red flags when it comes to malware so take the risk away by not allowing them to be downloaded.

On laptops/computers, staff should only be granted the minimum level of access (ie the amount of access they need to fulfil their role and nothing else). All updates and downloads should require administrator approval which means anything they try to download will have to through you. If you trust someone else to be an administrator then you can assign these download approvals to them.

Update your devices

There is nothing that malware loves more than out-of-date software and firmware as hey are far easier to breach than up-to-date equivalents. As a result, you need to make sure all of your business’s IT equipment is updated to the latest possible version. An easy way to guarantee this is to enable automatic updates on all of your devices.

If you reach a point where one of your devices is unable to run the most recent update then it means that it’s time to update that device. Unfortunately, it means that the operating system isn’t powerful enough to make the download but leaving it with the old one in place is quite simply a risk not worth taking. Investing in your security is necessary.

Update devices

Ditch USBs

In years gone by, USB sticks were the preferred choice for many people when it came to document sharing. However, they pose a very serious risk in terms of cyber attacks, malware and data breaches. All it takes is one person to stick an infected USB stick into one of your business’s devices for things to turn south.

The more drives and sticks are shared for personal and private use, the greater the chance of them picking up a malware bug. Instead, we’d recommend banning USB sticks across the business. Instead, use emails and cloud storage to share important documents as they don’t pose half the risk.

Ensure firewalls are turned on

Firewalls are brilliant because they create a buffer between your business’s network and external networks. Many operating systems come with firewalls as standard so just make sure they are turned on to protect yourself when browsing the internet. If you don’t have a firewall on your devices, then get one installed as a matter of urgency.

Andy is a Professional Content Editor with expertise in a whole host of areas (or so he tells us anyway). His main interests are Startups, innovation and social media. He has reviewed over 100 startups so far for startup.info

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