I’ve been running into people lately who have experienced not-so-obvious virus attacks on their networks. You can protect your network from viruses in two ways: software and/or hardware.
Most people are aware of the software solutions, such as McAfee, Symantec, etc. They are fairly easy to use. Simply install on your PC and you are ready to go. If you are running a server, there are several server versions that can be installed.
The hardware solution protects all equipment starting from the entry point of your network—the Internet connection. You can choose the size or your unit based on the size of your firm and additional features like load balancing are also included.
To meet your compliance needs, you should have at least two Internet connections from two different providers. This appliance will automatically send all traffic to the alternate connection if your main connection goes out. This solution will require a tech person to implement it because there may be technical settings that must first be established.
Unfortunately, virus creators are getting smarter. Many viruses are now downloaded with the help of the end user!
Most of you may an email from a familiar email address with a single link. Assuming this is from someone you know, you click on the link. Your computer and possibly your entire network are now infected. Your friend’s email address was probably hacked.
These viruses first start with an interface message telling you that your computer is infected, and that you should scan your pc. The interfaces look official, as if they are being offered from Microsoft. Thinking it’s legitimate, you click “Yes” and then are told your computer has viruses and you need to pay to have them removed. The virus then slowly starts shutting down programs until you pay. If this happens, go to download.com and download a virus protection software. If you already have a virus protection software installed, call the vendor’s tech support.
I know of firms that have spent tens of thousands of dollars on appliance solutions, but still get viruses. Unfortunately, there is very little you can do but educate yourself and your employess. If you get an odd message asking to click on a link, just don’t do it. Instead, delete the message. If it seems to be from a person you know, call them and let them know their email has been hacked.
If you would like an education slide on this type of virus, email me and I will be happy to send it to you.
Ash Bhatnagar, CFP®
RIA Independence Co.