The Threat Within – Dealing with malware threats inside your network

Protecting your company’s bottom line from the considerable cost of malware (malicious software), including viruses, is vitally important. Firewall and GAV (gateway anti virus) products provide effective protection from external attacks. However, there is evidence to suggest that an equal if not greater threat is posed by malware attacking from inside the network. Protection from the Internet is only half the battle. There are threats closer to home.

Malware includes computer viruses, Trojan Horses, Worms and spyware. They can enter your network from many non-Internet sources. USB memory sticks, CDs, memory cards, smart phones and tablets can all deliver malware. New or guest computers can do the same. Although it is common knowledge that any data-sharing method potentially contains a virus or other malware, an object like a USB memory stick is so familiar that the threat it may represent is not often considered.

A recent security study by the US Department of Homeland Security proved how easily viruses could infiltrate a network. The study involved planting USB memory sticks and computer disks for government employees to find. 60% of those who picked up one of the devices plugged them into their computers, even though they didn’t know where the devices came from, or what they might contain. If the memory stick had an official-looking logo, the installation rate went up to 90%. There was no suggestion that any of the employees had malicious intent. Human curiosity proved stronger than any security awareness or caution.

The US study showed how easily viruses and all types of malware contained in a physical device arrive in the office. It also highlighted the security threat represented by every individual seated at their desktop computer. Protecting your data and network security from non-Internet malware threats has to address the actions of the person who means you harm, as well as the innocent and well-intentioned person who unwittingly delivers a costly attack.

A protection solution can be found with endpoint security. This is software installed on every computer and device in the network. Sophos Endpoint Security provides a powerful software package, delivering integrated protection and stopping malware at the desktop. The software runs on each desktop computer. It secures desktops, laptops and other devices, using a single scan to control unwanted applications simultaneously. Guest or new computers are assessed, and problems dealt with before they join the network. Sophos Endpoint Security software provides frequent automatic updates, so the latest protection is always available. It secures the whole network from the potentially damaging actions of individuals introducing viruses and other malware threats.

The specialists at Intraspace advise, deliver and maintain solutions to protect your network. They source the best firewall products to stop Internet threats, and endpoint security products for the threats closer to home. Adopting this layered approach will give you in-depth security that effectively protects your company interests. Intraspace are dedicated IT specialists, and their expertise enables you to maintain security.

All malware has the potential to cost your company a great deal of money. However, an integrated and efficient approach to security will minimize the cost, allowing your business to grow, protected from threats and their expensive consequences.

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