We often feel the technology surrounding us are well organized and safe. Millions of businesses operate on computers, the internet relies on complex networks, and people are connected through modern applications. But is the technology world a utopia? Unfortunately not.
The fact is countless incidents of security attacks are reported every day throughout the nation. Numbers of cybercriminal groups are continuously increasing while attack strategies keep getting difficult to prevent.
Organizations are facing $13 million financial damage on average per year due to cybercrimes according to research by Accenture.
Monitor Threats with Antimalware
The first and foremost solution to prevent virus and malware threats is achieved by using Antimalware software.
There is no doubt that malware creation, execution, and remote management involves dedication toward complex development and comprehensive understanding to succeed in the attacks. Therefore it naturally leads to the idea that the same or higher level of commitment is required to set up proper protection against malware.
Antimalware software comes with a variety of features and compatibilities based on the needs. Although a free version of Antimalware will still provide fundamental protection, we highly recommend choosing a full suite edition to establish defense throughout any known entry point that free version may not cover.
Keep Your Operating System Up to Date
Let's acknowledge that corporations providing our OS, including Windows, macOS, and Linux, are continuously spending an enormous amount of effort to come up with the best solution to protect our computer usage. This process involves not limited to threat research and security development, but also vulnerability test, trend analysis, scan report management, and protection advancement.
The security improvement product that comes out from such concentrated effort is called a security patch or security update. Luckily these patches are provided for free to those who own an OS.
So make sure you are taking advantage of applying any OS security patches provided. Since their patches can be released quite often create a habit to keep an eye on the update status. Even better to set up an update notification or activate the auto-update feature to keep your system up to date.
Update Your Web Browser Version
Because the web browser is the largest gateway to endless online resources, it is also one of the most dangerous entry points for viruses and malware infection. There are hundreds and thousands of web threats invented by criminal groups, some of which are Adware programs, Exploit Packs, Trojan Downloaders, Scareware, Malvertising, and Malicious website/script.
While antimalware software is a well-proven solution to protect yourself from web threats, it is equally important to keep your browser version up to date. New version releases do not only provide the latest features and performance improvements. However, statistics show that many users are using an outdated version of the browser, regardless of the browser type.
WhoIsHosting research shows an extremely high ratio of users with outdated browsers.
- Chrome - Over 50% are outdated
- Internet Explorer/Edge - 75%
- Mozilla Firefox - 33%
- Apple Safari - 33%
We strongly emphasize the importance of applying the latest patches considering the rapid evolution of the online attacks.
Security Repair: Any known and fixable security vulnerabilities will be sealed. Since security flaws are constantly discovered along with technology innovations, repairing is a key process for protection.
Reliable Data Streams: Using research-proven and globally acknowledged data stream architectures can improve security fundamentals in many levels. Even a simple online financial transaction involves multi-layer network flows and encryption protocols. Stay on the safe side by relying on the latest standards.
Incidence Report Collecting: There is a reporting system implemented in our browser to collect potential threat incidents from around the world. These reports will overall help us to be aware of the vulnerabilities and invent countermeasure solutions. Using the latest version will help contribute to threat research through improved sensors implemented in our browsers.
Always use Secure Network (HTTPS)
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is designed to encrypt data that transfers between your browser and the web server on a public network. Through HTTPS connections hackers will not be able to steal information from you by analyzing the data.
Network communications over HTTP connection are vulnerable to attacks dedicated to extracting information from streamed data, such as Man-in-the-Middle attack and Packet Sniffing. There are many incidents reported where credit cards and web accounts were stolen due to using malicious sites that send data over HTTP.
Configure and Turn On Firewall
A firewall is a security system that will protect your device from unauthorized network access. It is often used to grant or deny certain users from accessing devices software and hardware service over both private and public networks.
Imagine you established a publicly accessible service on your computers, such as FTP or Remote Desktop, and unknowingly associated with basic access credentials. Now your service is ready to be accessed while thousands of exploit tools around the world are constantly checking endpoints trying different combinations of credentials.
If you properly configured your firewall and have it running, luckily your computer is completely safe. Any public access to your computer will not go through the firewall unless they are specifically set to allow.
Setup Computer Backup System
Never underestimate the power of backup. Keeping an external copy of your important data can recover you from all sorts of troubles and security attack scenarios.
There is a variety of malware specifically designed to attack victims' files. Some less impacted attacks will simply hide or move the files, but some dangerous harms can cause anywhere from password encryption to data manipulation, and even complete hard drive formats.
Even after terminating the core of the threats, an infection can start spreading again from files that were contaminated during the attack. Business environments with a shared network system can dramatically make the situation worse as the attack may infected files across the entire network.
To minimize the financial loss caused by threat investigation and data recovery, keep in mind to follow the leading practices.
- Setup a backup software and cover all the important files, even better if covering the entire hard drive.
- Run the backup occasionally by enabling the scheduling feature. Configure the schedule to automatically perform backups during the night.
- Favor saving the backup to external storage over local storage. Use cloud base service if preferred.
- Use reversion or subversion to avoid the single-source backup pitfall. You don't want to overwrite healthy backup files with potentially infected files.
Use Unique Password with Password Manager
Passwords should always be unique among accounts and never use the same password more than once. By using a unique password, even when one of your passwords gets hacked there will be minimum impact toward your online identity as other accounts will remain safe.
The downside of using a unique password is that keeping track of each and all passwords will quickly get hectic as our memory can only keep up with so much. To resolve this issue we highly recommend using a password manager software to keep track of all your passwords in one place.
A password manager is a central library designed to organize passwords so that you don't have to remember. The password manager comes with many other useful features that are worthy of mentioning, including password generator, browser auto-fill, and mobile device synchronization.