Cybersecurity Basics: Malware Detection On All Your Company's Devices

At Level, many of our engineers come from a security background, and keeping devices secure is our top priority. Whether or not you use Level's software, we're publishing actionable best practices in security that you can implement.

While many of these best practices are baked into Level's software, we want to help all companies become as secure as possible. For many companies, one of the early action steps you'll need is malware detection across all your devices. In this post we'll show you why and how.

Why All Your Devices Need Malware Detection

The threat of a malware attack is widespread and quite common. Attackers have found that the easiest way to install viruses and ransomware is by doing mass attacks against every device they can find. While many of these attacks will fail due to firewalls or scanning, a significant enough portion succeed to make the mass-attack worth it.

The problem is so widespread that Check Point Software Technologies, a security vendor, found in a recent study that 84 percent of organizations have systems infected with malware. Nearly three quarters have at least one bot on their network.

Furthermore, according to reporting from Inc., in 2020, over 50% of all small to medium-sized businesses experienced a cybersecurity breach. This underscores the importance of good security practices to prevent takeovers or data breaches. More importantly, though, it highlights the importance of securing all your company's devices.

All it takes for an attacker to gain access to your data is a single vulnerable device. As such, it's imperative that malware detection be installed on every device at your company.

Adding Malware Detection to Your Devices

Luckily, adding malware detection to your company's devices has become a fairly straightforward process with a lot of great vendors offering easy-to-install products. But malware detection and preventing attacks is more than just installing some software and calling it a day. Here's the process we recommend.

1. Choose a Vendor

Depending on your circumstances, you may already have malware detection or a preferred vendor. If you use an IT managed service provider or any remote monitoring software, those will come with recommended ways to enable malware detection already built in.

If not, shop around to find a good vendor. You want one of the more established vendors with a proven track record of stopping attacks and doing so for businesses.

2. Install Across All Your Devices

Once you've chosen a vendor, the next step is to make an inventory of all your devices and install the software on each of them. Remember, your cybersecurity is only as strong as the weakest point, so it's critical that there are no exceptions to this rule.

If you use a remote monitoring solution, you can set up policies and install scripts that will do this for you automatically on every device.

3. Train Employees

Having software alone is not enough. Your employees also need to know what malware looks like and how to prevent common attacks. Train your employees on the types of sites where malware comes from and best practices to prevent it.

Moreover, your employees should understand your overall cybersecurity policies and why they shouldn't change settings or remove installations on their work-issued computers.

4. Keep Malware Detector Up-to-date

Once you have everything installed and everyone trained, you enter the maintenance phase. The types of attacks and list of attackers is growing every day. Malware detection vendors issue regular updates to their software to filter these new attacks, but you don't get those benefits unless your software is up to date!

Again, this is a case of only being as strong as your weakest link. Every device needs to get the updates, and you need a way to verify those updates. Rolling out security updates is one of the big benefits of using a remote monitoring and management solution to ensure compliance across all your devices.

How Do I Remove Existing Malware?

It's entirely possible, maybe even likely, that you have malware on machines that are currently unprotected. While the specific steps to remediation will depend on the attack and whether the files were ever actually executed, there are basic steps to remove malware:

  1. Identify and contain the threat. This usually involves removing the malware files and clearing processes on the machine. In more complex cases, you may need a security expert to help you root out the problem, if the malware script created other files or added security loopholes behind the scenes.
  2. If your customers have been affected, let them know right away. It may seem easier not to say anything, but any security breach needs to be reported in order to maintain trust.
  3. Prevent future attacks with more robust safeguards. If you don't have any malware detection, start there. If malware got past your detector, figure out why and how to block it the next time

All Companies Should Have Malware Detection

Malware detection is a great first step for any company looking to become more secure. In fact, at Level we consider it a requirement on all devices, because it provides a baseline of protection that we can build upon.

If your company doesn't yet have malware detection, following the steps in this article will vastly increase your company's preparedness to prevent cyberattacks. Remember, though, that cybersecurity is only as strong as the weakest link, so all your devices need up-to-date software, and all your employees need training and practice.

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