Malware and security software are in a constant conflict. Both sides are always changing, getting better, and developing new strategies. You can defend your web server against the most frequent malware attacks by taking a few simple measures. For the protection of both you and your clients, it is crucial that you, as a system administrator, keep your server up and running securely. Below are the best tips to protect against malware.
1 Only Use Trusted Antivirus and Malware Software
Nowadays, few individuals use computers, smartphones, or tablets without antivirus and malware detection software. According to a research, only 27% of Windows machines were unprotected in 2017. But not all of those people use a reputable or well-known supplier.
Norton, Kaspersky, Comodo, AVG, Avast, and Webroot antivirus programmes all have a long history of being reliable and good at identifying security risks despite costing slightly more than self-described “free antivirus” programmes.
On the internet, you may download free antivirus software, but do you really want to trust your computer to just any software? Furthermore, a lot of completely free antivirus software is itself a Potentially Unwanted Program (“PUP”) and includes spyware during installation.
When compared to the potentially harmful cryptojacking or hijacking that could take place on your own devices, purchasing high-quality antivirus software is a little investment to pay.
2. Update & patch your OS and software
The worldwide mayhem caused by the WannaCry ransomware in May 2017 is believed to have cost $4 billion. The notorious ransomware took advantage of a flaw in Windows’ implementation of the SMB protocol. Microsoft, though, had already addressed the issue in March 2017. The affected systems were vulnerable to WannaCry because they failed to timely update their Windows operating system.
In other words, WannaCry would not have been able to infect and encrypt the data if they had upgraded their Windows OS.
The WannaCry ransomware outbreak serves as the ideal illustration of the importance of timely OS and application updates and how failing to do so leaves your business-critical systems open to ransomware attacks.
3. Install antivirus and ransomware protection softwares.
The primary line of security against ransomware and cyberattacks is anti-virus software. Your system automatically detects, removes, and quarantines harmful software based on the software you’ve chosen before it encrypts your data. This makes these data security programmes a necessary component of each storage system for mission-critical corporate data.
However, it goes without saying that it is not a good idea to rely only on anti-virus and anti-ransomware software. Data protection software is unable to keep up with ransomware’s constant evolution and complexity.
4. Install backup and disaster recovery systems (DR)
In order to stop ransomware attacks, one of the most important things to do is to set up automated air-gapped backups, immutable storage, snapshots, and disaster recovery.
After eradicating the ransomware from the compromised systems, you can quickly perform restoration operations and lower recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) with backup and disaster recovery (DR).
5. Employ Browser Common Sense
There are common sense rules that automatically keep you safe from street crime, such as never walking alone at night, staying in well-lit locations, etc. The same self-preservation rules also apply when using the internet.
Steer clear of websites that host pirated content, especially torrent sites like The Pirate Bay. These locations are rife with malware. Never open an email attachment from a sender you do not know since it can be a phishing hoax.
Here are some pointers:
Even if the file was supplied to you by relatives or friends, scan it before downloading.
Before clicking a shortened link, hover your mouse over it to see the URL it will take you to. This is especially important if the link is in an email from someone you don’t know or recognize.
The most recent figures show that there are more than 18 million malicious websites on the internet. You should report infected websites to your antivirus provider in addition to leaving them right away because they raise certain evident warning signs.
Second, always check to see if the website you visit has an SSL certificate. Search for the secured icon to the left of the URL to confirm this (the web address). Take action to stop the entire page from loading when a browser, like Chrome, alerts you that a website is not safe.
In the data centres of cheap web hosting companies, which can host thousands of websites on a single shared server with little to no quality control, malicious websites are frequently hosted. Because of this, it is far better to take precautions than to try to erase the harm that has already been done when it comes to internet safety.
6. Stay Up-to-Date on the Latest Attacks
Malware is frequently modified and added by cybercriminals. Malvertising is one type of malware, for instance.
Remove any software you no longer use in addition to keeping your operating system and all of your programmes updated. You become vulnerable to assaults when using outdated programmes because they don’t have patches (updates/fixes).
7. Configure Regular Scans and Monitor Settings
Each and every person needs antivirus software. Most people would undoubtedly agree that they need antivirus software if you asked them. And yet, a recent Webroot research found that almost half of all Americans have no antivirus protection at all.
A hacker exposed private patient information at the Erie County Medical Center in New York in 2017, costing the facility millions of dollars. Their computer system was ultimately offline for a total of six weeks due to the hackers. All the screens went dark, rendering them helpless to take any action. To restore access to their own equipment, they ultimately had to pay the hackers more than $44,000 in Bitcoin.
And the reason why none of this could have been prevented was that they lacked antivirus software. Although it is meant to operate in the background, you must still handle it directly. To make sure the programme is functioning properly, it is a good idea to set up automatic scans to run once every few days or once per week.
Avoid performing scans while using your computer if you see that it significantly reduces the performance of your PC. For most people, it makes sense to choose a late hour, for instance.
Last but not least, you need to make sure that the system is not off and that it cannot enter sleep mode or hibernation in order for the scan to run.