A computer virus is a form of malware that can replicate and spread through unwitting user actions. According to the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, viruses account for 57% of malware instances. According to 2015 statistics, between 12% and 16% of computers in Canada report malware and unwanted software encounters. Viruses represent a significant vulnerability, especially for business computers. They have the ability to destroy systems, compromise data security, and even affect the reputation of your organization. In case your business ever encounters a virus, here are some important steps for how to manage it.
1. Inform users and clients
If your system has been compromised, the first step is to inform any other users or clients that might also be affected by this. It’s important for them to be kept informed about the status of the virus, along with the security of any relating, sensitive data.
2. Ensure that you are using current anti-virus software and that it is being updated whenever necessary.
Anti-virus software is important for containing and notifying users about potential threats. Without regular updates, it can provide windows of opportunity for attacks to occur and penetrate your IT infrastructure using known exploits. Always keep your system up to date and active.
3. Scan the computer
Once the anti-virus program has contained and removed the virus, scan the computer again to ensure the threat has been eliminated. It’s also beneficial to schedule a scan once the computer is not being used to give it a thorough assessment.
4. Re-format the computer’s hard disk
In some cases where the virus is aggressive, you may need to wipe out the disk entirely. This would also require you to reinstall the operating system and programs.
5. Always be prepared with backups
For situations that require a complete wipe out of system and programs, it is imperative for any business to perform regular backups of their data, documents and any vital information both on-site and off-site on secure cloud servers. Even with the most reliable anti-virus software, there is always a potential risk for viruses.
6. Use Internet Firewalls
Internet firewalls help to protect your computer from any potential malicious threats through the Internet. This can help to minimize the potential for any future attacks.
Computer viruses are always a potential threat, even with optimal prevention measures in place. That’s why it is always essential to take every action you can to minimize damage in the event of an infection. Always backup your data, and inform other users or clients in the case of an attack. Always keep your programs, systems and most importantly, your anti-virus protection software up-to-date.
Enlist the services of a reputable IT company to implement procedures to keep your data safe, educate your employees about the risks and warning signs of malware, and have a detailed recovery plan in place in the event that a company computer does become infected with a virus.
Is your network safe? Contact us for a free assessment of your network to check for potential viruses.