Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Anti-Virus Solution and its Importance for Businesses

anti-virusViruses have evolved since the Internet first came into being in the 1990s. In the past, viruses were merely annoyances used by people to show off to their friends, or in many cases irritate them. Today, cybercrime is an entire industry.

Viruses steal information and can sell it on to third-party criminal groups who can empty bank accounts and steal customer details.

Let’s take a look at why every business needs some sort of anti-virus solution.

The Cost of Not Having an Anti-Virus Solution

About 17% of all computers in the world today lack any basic virus protection when browsing online, according to the anti-virus protection provider McAfee.

TrendMicro estimates on a global scale the cost of cybercrime could be up to $1 billion USD, and at least $300 billion at a bare minimum. Whilst it’s impossible to know the exact cost of business cybercrime, we can conclude it’s rampant, so an anti-virus solution is the minimum a business should have.

Stopping the Tide

The risk of not having anti-virus software is simply too great. Your average anti-virus program will block thousands of different viruses every month. And this is just for someone who doesn’t visit potentially malicious websites.

Viruses exist on even the safest websites. It’s impossible to browse safely without some sort of protection.

Covering for Everyone Else

A business with paid employees needs to be extra careful. You might see yourself as someone who knows how to browse safely. You already know the basics of not clicking on suspicious email attachments and staying away from dangerous websites. Do your employees know the same, though?

There’s no guaranteeing your workers are as careful as you, and you don’t want to take the risk. A virus that hits any access point on your network is a potential threat to your entire business.

Your Customers and Yourself

It’s not just protecting your website that’s a priority. To truly understand the dangers of a virus, you need to look at the chain reaction of an attack. If someone gets into your network, they can take the personal and financial details of your customers.

Criminal gangs can use this information to assault their bank accounts and cause untold misery. You aren’t just protecting your company, you’re doing your best by your customers. Some would argue it’s incredibly selfish to not invest in strong anti-virus protection.

Paid Software and Free Software

Free software already installed on your machine will rarely work. This is the most basic of all protections and won’t keep out stronger viruses. Don’t waste your time listening to the salesperson. The chances are they don’t have any clue what they’re talking about.

Paid software will provide you with regular updates and will save you money in the long-term. Keep customer confidence high and prevent any messy situations in the future by paying for an anti-virus solution.


Malware Protection and Your Business – Why You Need a Defence

malware symbol

Malware is a malicious entity that can attack computers and business networks. They’re generally used to steal personal and financial information. The person behind the virus will take this information and use it to steal money, or they’ll sell it on to criminal gangs who will do the same thing.

As a business, it’s your duty to possess some sort of malware protection. The cost of cybercrime to businesses is massive. The UK Government compiled a study that revealed cybercrime costs the IT services industry $1.6 billion per annum. And the figures are relatively similar for other industries, including the aerospace and chemical industries.

Extending Further

The main threat to a business is not what it can do to your operation. It’s how it can extend to the people you serve. Let’s say you get into a position where malware has infected your network and has taken the details of your customers.

All their personal information, such as where they live, can be used for the purposes of identity fraud. Any financial information, such as credit card details, can be used by criminals to empty bank accounts.

Your Reputation

A business lives or dies based on its reputation. If you gain a negative reputation because you didn’t secure your network, this is going to impact the number of sales you make. Your reputation will impact whether customers turn away from you. And this can cause your business to go bankrupt.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 6 in 10 businesses who sustain a major malware attack in the U.S. will go bankrupt within a year.

Security is a big issue for customers. They want to know their online transactions are safe. It’s the main barrier to eCommerce, and it’s why so many people still won’t shop online.

Reopening the Doors

Practically, recovering from a major malware solution is tough. You have to perform a security audit, invest in new security software, provide any compensation due to customers, and might even have to fight off legal cases.

For a lot of companies, this is too much hassle and they close their doors. You don’t want this to happen to you. The cost isn’t just financial (which is what everyone seems to focus upon), it’s also a major time sink.

The longer you’re closed the more customers you’ll lose. If your site is offline, or the shop doors are closed, your regular customers will assume you’ve closed forever. Very few people will check back twice. It can take years to recover lost ground following a major malware attack.

Go for Quality over Cost

And here’s a final word on the type of malware solution you should invest in. Invest in the solution that works, not the solution that happens to be exceptionally cheap. The savings you’ll make from going for the cheaper option will pale in comparison to the cost of a malware file slipping through the cracks.

Go back to home

Data Backups – Why Your Business is Vulnerable

data backupMost businesses have entered the online world. They’ve seen its potential and taken their services online. It’s also opened up a new category of threats. Cyber-attacks from a reasonably skilled hacker can wipe out a business in a matter of hours. It’s essential you protect yourself against the worst case scenario.

According to Internet security awareness training firm KnowBe4, the losses attributable to cybercrime total US $113 billion. Take a moment to let that astounding number sink in.

For a small business, they need a way to go back to the past. They need data backups to restore anything that goes missing.

What are Data Backups?

A data backup is essentially a copy made of your entire database of information. It’s usually kept on an external hard-drive offline. Should anything go wrong, the business can simply take this hard-drive and re-upload everything. It’s a time-consuming measure, but it means they haven’t lost anything.

Where Do they Come From?

Anyone can make a data backup if they want to. All it requires is an external device to copy the data onto. It’s then a matter of taking your database and copying everything over to that device.

You can even store data backups on a computer in an offline capacity. We wouldn’t recommend this, though. If a hacker manages to break into your private network your backups will be under threat.

Many web hosts offer free backups for their clients’ websites. Users have a choice of automatically backing up their data. Some hosts will even create a separate backup every few hours.

Is it Expensive?

Backing up data is perhaps one of the cheapest IT expenses you’ll have. As already mentioned, many web hosts will backup online data free of charge. The only expense involved with storing data in an offline capacity is the cost of whatever device you intend on storing your information on.

The cloud is another low-cost option for storing data. It’s slightly more vulnerable due to the fact you’re still storing your data online, but many businesses prefer to use it as an extra layer of protection.

The Consequences

In short, the consequences are shocking. According to Forbes, 60% of small businesses that suffer a major cyber-attack won’t reopen their doors within six months. Most of them will simply disappear and not return again.

If you are able to get back on your feet, expect the road to be long and hard. You now have to perform a security audit to find out where things went wrong. After that, you have to reassure, and sometimes compensate, customers for losing any of their data. You also have to try to recover financial data for the time when you have to think about filing taxes.

Any responsible business will consider an online backup a matter of priority.