Worms, Viruses and Malware, Oh My!

Worms, Viruses and Malware attacks are your business’ primary security threat, but what is the likelihood of an attack? Are these types of attack truly dangerous, or are they more like the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz? Even if you do have a firewall, how much does the likelihood of a breach decrease?

It might help to compare your IT security to a similar expense – insurance. You might pay a considerable amount of money to insure your business because you know plenty of accidents can occur, and any one of these could potentially wipe you out if you had to pay the damages in full. Insurance makes sense because you have invested a significant amount of money, and you want to protect your investment – even if the real chance of a disaster is relatively small.

Contrary to our experiences with real world risks, the world of information technology is full of commonplace threats. Programs are automatically scanning websites for vulnerabilities, and when they find one, they attack. Any one of these threats could interrupt your business continuity and cost significant amounts of money. But small businesses often believe their business will not become a target.

Every Level of Protection Helps

One of our customers had to make a security judgment call. Their server was experiencing performance issues, and our Dell-SonicWall real-time scan feature was hampering processing speed. They requested we disable the scan. Then, one of their employees fell prey to a phishing attack.

An email came in that appeared like any other email, but the attachment was an executable file. When the employee clicked on the file, a virus was set loose on the network. This particular virus created a shared folder for other users to click on. Each click spread the virus, undetected, to another workstation.

By the time they identified the threat and notified us, their network was deeply infected. We defeated the virus in 20 hours, but during that timeframe, they lost $20,000 between lost productivity, their dedicated IT personnel costs and our bill. The real-time scan would have caught the virus early on and prevented the vast majority of the damage.

The lions, tigers and bears that roam across the Internet are not cowardly. We strongly recommend all our standard security features be enabled because your IT should be your greatest asset, not a liability.