Small Business Advice

How to protect your business from a cyber-attack

Jack Stratten

Here are some tips on avoiding certain types of cyber-attacks.

You may have read in the news about cyber-attacks related to a strain of malware (malicious software) known as GOZeuS. For a business owner, keeping your business’ financial data protected is just as important as your personal data, so here’s a quick guide to how you can protect your business from an attack.

Am I affected?

If you are reading this article online, the answer is yes. And if you use a Windows based PC, laptop or other device then you are at more risk than those who use another operating system such as Apple OS X.

What you need to know:

Malware like GOZeuS typically infects a computer via attachments or links in emails which look genuine e.g. a bank email, when really it is designed to trick you into downloading the malicious software.

If a user clicks on GOZeuS, it silently monitors activity and tries to capture information such as bank details. It will search specifically for files containing financial information which is neither good for you nor your business.

Some strains of GOZeuS will then install Cryptolocker – a ransomware program that locks a person’s machine until a fee is paid.

How can I protect myself?

• Install internet security software from companies listed on Get Safe Online’s Facebook and Google+ profiles to download a free tool to scan for GOZeuS and CryptoLocker, and remove them from your computer

• Make sure your internet security software is up-to-date and switched on at all times

• Do not open attachments in emails unless you are 100% certain that they are authentic

• Make sure your operating system has the latest updates applied, this is particularly important if you use a Windows based operating system

• Make sure your software programs have the latest manufacturers’ updates applied

• Make sure all of your files including documents, photos, music and bookmarks are backed up and readily available in case you are no longer able to access them on your computer

• Never store passwords on your computer in case they are accessed by GOZeuS or another aggressive malware program
For more information visit www.getsafeonline.org/nca