With all the threats out there these days, even the most legitimate Web sites could put your company’s servers at risk.
Companies that avoid (or, at the very least, minimize) the risk of viral attacks do so by taking proactive measures before a problem arises. A few simple precautions can help your company save significant amounts of time and money (not to mention any breach of confidential files, etc.)
Three steps you can take right now to significantly decrease your risk of exposure:
- Back up everything on your system (and make sure employees do the same): No matter how well your servers are protected, there’s really no way to guarantee your system won’t crash, or someone’s personal PC won’t fall into a river, or a major storm won’t knock out the power. The point is, you need to make sure everything is backed up, not only at another location on your internal servers, but also on some type of external hard drive where those files won’t be in danger, should your company’s server go down. For increased protection, equip every one of your employees with a personal thumb drive, and make it a company policy that once a quarter, they need to take a few minutes to upload any new files.
- Install antivirus software (It’s free): There are tons of antivirus software programs out there, and a lot of them are offered as free downloads (e.g., AVG provides a free download of reliable antivirus software for any system that operates using Windows). A lot of computer viruses operate like cancers, slowly (or in some cases, very quickly) spreading to every nook and cranny until the hard drive is completely unresponsive. Send an email once a month, reminding employees to run a quick scan before they start their week. They’ll catch a lot of viruses that fly under the radar, slowly revealing themselves through slower running systems and other system failures.
- Bring PCs in for regular check-ups: Partner with IT to ensure every computer in your department receives regularly scheduled tuneups, during which IT pros can update operating systems, flag any problems, and suggest ways for employees to streamline their operating systems so things run more smoothly.
Preventative maintenance is the key. The time you spend taking proactive measures is nothing compared to the hours of lost work (not to mention privileged info) you risk by leaving your operating system open to threats.
Source: “Resolved: How to Keep Your Computer Safe, Clean, and Backed Up in 2011,” by Adam Dachis, Lifehacker, 1/3/11.