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Help, I’ve got a virus! What to do if your business is attacked

How would your business respond if you got a virus? Far too many businesses wait until they’ve already suffered a cyber attack to think about that question. By then, the damage is already done: when a virus hits your systems, every second counts.

Being small is no excuse not to have a plan. Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of small businesses suffered a virus or malicious software infection in 2015. To add insult to injury, the same research shows that the cost of such a security breach averages between £75,000 – £311,000 for a small business.

So, here’s what you do if a device in your business has got a virus. Commit it to memory.

Help, I’ve got a virus

Don’t panic – act:

  • Detect it. Whether it’s pop-ups, slow or freezing hardware, or disabled antivirus: your employees should note any unusual behaviour on a device immediately. If you have an IT team, or an external IT partner, now is the time to contact them.
  • Isolate it. Wherever you find the virus, disconnect that hardware from your business’s network to avoid the malware spreading any further. The rest of your employees should then run anti-virus scans to make sure their devices aren’t infected.
  • Destroy it. Ensure your antivirus systems are up to date and then immediately run a full scan to find and delete the malware on the infected hardware. If the system doesn’t have antivirus software, or the malware in question has disabled it, download an antivirus installer through an uncorrupted system and transfer that to the quarantined hardware using a memory stick.
  • Document it. Have someone on your team take ongoing notes on the timeline of the attack. You can then share these details with stakeholders and, if necessary, with the police.

With these steps, you should be able to cleanse your network of malware and mitigate a disaster. But, if this doesn’t work, and you don’t have a qualified IT team to help you, it’s time to seek external help.

Think of the future

Strong business security is about far more than knowing what to do when something goes wrong. It’s about:

Most importantly, it’s about having the right support available to shore up your defences and to help you when something does go wrong.

Without support, your business walks a statistical tight rope, risking a disastrous security breach every day.


Are Macs immune to viruses?

So, are Apple devices and Macs immune to viruses? Short answer: NO.

Then why do so many people believe that they are? Let’s break it down.

Viruses are always written for a specific platform. A virus written for Windows can only run on a Windows machine. Now consider that the aim of a computer virus is to spread to as many other machines as possible, much like the common cold spreads through the population when we hit winter.

Attackers are obviously going to most often target the platform that the majority of people use in order to get the best return from their attack. And that platform happens to be Windows.

Up until recently, criminals considered Macs a less attractive target because they weren’t in use nearly as much as Windows. In 2011, the MacOS X accounted for barely more than five percent of the market share, compared to Windows XP’s 35 percent.

This gave Macs ‘security through minority’. Attackers didn’t bother attacking them because there weren’t enough potential victims to make it worth their while.

The fact is, Macs aren’t immune to viruses just the same way that someone who doesn’t leave the house isn’t immune to getting a cold – they’re just less exposed to the threat.

Though Windows operating systems still dominate the market share, MacOS has become more popular, especially seeing as big businesses like Google are now predominantly using Macs in their offices.

As more and more businesses choose Macs OS, the more appealing they become as a target for viruses. Recent years have seen some rather nasty viruses and malware attacking Macs, exploiting the false sense of security so many people hold.

So, no, Macs are not immune to viruses. And as they become more popular it will become ever more apparent just how dangerous this myth is. If you’re a Mac user or your employees use them in your business, it’s better to install anti-virus software than it is to rely on blind faith.

After all, are you willing to risk your data on the hope that the odds remain ever in your favour?


Why employee consultation matters with new IT projects

In product development it’s a well-known fact that involving customers in the design phase boosts consumer satisfaction. Knowing and understanding the customer’s needs is key to creating a good product.

The same goes for managing technology in the workplace. When you consider your IT infrastructure, introduce new software or change tools, you should listen to your employees and ask for their input in the process. Here’s why:

  • Your employees are on the front line. You can do your own research or seek the advice of professionals, but consulting your employees about how technology affects their everyday productivity will raise issues that you might not be aware of. Knowing their requirements, pain points and processes will help you make more informed decisions about technology in your workplace.
  • Your employees are users and consumers. If you decide to invest in new technology you need to be sure that your employees will adopt it as part of their workflow. It’s likely that they’re already using personal devices to complete tasks, so you should ask what they’re using and why. They may raise options that you hadn’t considered or weren’t aware of.
  • Listening will make change management and training easier. Knowing your employees’ concerns and opinions will help you design a good change management and training plan.

Listen and learn

Canon recently launched a new program to create a ‘high performance’ workplace based on collaboration among employees and company leadership. The program is a response to a recent study that showed only half of the company’s employees feel they have access to the latest technology.

Listening to employees’ concerns is proving to be a productive strategy as ‘involved employees share in the responsibility to deliver strong results,’ says Director of Canon Oceania HR and communications, Approaching technology as a team in the workplace improves employee engagement, and it helps to create a working environment that is productive, efficient and comfortable.

The next time you consider introducing new tools and solutions in your workplace, listen to your employees and involve them in the process. You’ll save time, money and end up making a more informed, more productive decision.