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Securing Your Network from Internet Threats

A Brief History

Using PC security software has been common practice since the mid-1990s. Back then we needed to protect against viruses passed around by floppy disks and it took months for a virus to propagate from its source to be on PCs around the world.

The viruses were no less destructive than today, but the rate at which they were created and spread meant it was easier to keep track of and deal with them.

That all changed in 1999 with the Melisa Virus, which spread around the world taking over mail servers and spreading itself to all known contacts. In a matter of hours, it was delivered globally, causing spikes in internet traffic and taking servers offline for days while solutions were sought.

The World Today

These days we are seeing more new types of attacks and more methods of gaining access to our devices than ever. Even the most computer savvy people can have their devices infected by well-hidden “malware” (malicious software). Computer usage policies and user training can help, but it simply isn’t enough anymore.

Points of Entry that Need to be Secured

We are all pretty good at buying the security software we need for our PCs these days, but it’s no longer enough as we increasingly adopt mobile devices.

Today viruses are spread by email, websites, across our company networks, and through other more traditional methods. Yet there are some pretty simple ways to add layers of protection to our virus defenses to reduce risk and improve our chances of dodging the security threats:

  • Protection at the gateway – scan emails in the cloud before they land on our mail servers. Make sure your Cloud provider offers this as part of their service.
  • Protect the servers – install the appropriate server-based software on the servers to block network attacks.
  • Protection beyond PCs – do not be complacent even if you are not on a PC – Macs and Linux are at risk today as well. Don’t just rely on Antivirus software – you need complete Internet Security protection.
  • Protect your devices – Most devices have no security installed and can serve as a “back-door” into your network. Make sure your Apple, Android or Windows-based device has the appropriate security software installed.

If you are not sure about what to do, then seek advice. Remember: your network is only as strong as its weakest link.

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