Malware prevention: avoiding system vulnerabilities
When it comes to malware, it is usually true that the best defense is a good offense. A company-wide coordinated anti-malware software suite will perform key functions such as alerting users to malicious websites before the browser actually loads them, and blocking incoming connections until they have been verified as desired. There is no substitute for these solid forms of computer security.
At the same time, however, there are some types of systemic vulnerabilities that hackers and cyber-criminals habitually exploit. By avoiding them, businesses can do much to avoid being targeted by malware in the first place.
When all the devices on a network are running the same OS, this creates a vulnerability. A hacker that finds a way into one device can most likely access them all using the same techniques. Thankfully, complete homogeneity is becoming less prevalent in the 21st century workplace. In large measure this is because of the BYOD (bring your own device) trend that has become fairly prevalent, especially among small- and medium-sized businesses. Instead of each employee having an identical desktop computer, many workplaces now feature a diverse assortment of laptops, tablets, and smart phones, along with an almost equally diverse collection of operating systems.
Avoid assigning global permissions
Sensible data security measures mean keeping a lid on the types of changes that ordinary users can enact. When a system allows even casual users to modify internal structures of the computer, it can disrupt system-wide security procedures and open up major holes in anti-malware efforts.
Even worse is the fact that in Windows computers, any code that it executed is typically allowed to run under the privilege level assigned to the current user. If that user has been assigned Administrator status – a very common approach as it can simplify some uses of the computer – the malware will be allowed to run with no restrictions.
Merely removing administrator privileges from ordinary users can help keep systems far more secure.
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