Yes, there is a lot of concern over a “really bad virus” attacking on April 1. Should you be concerned? In fact, many computers are already infected.
The virus goes by the name of Conficker and it is also known as Downadup (and also Downup and Kido). My advice remains the same as always: be concerned about a really bad virus every single day of your life. If you are following IT security best practices, then there is nothing more to do in preparation for April 1.
Still, I was amazed during the Y2K bug nine years ago how many executives decided, “ok, let’s go ahead and take appropriate IT steps since there is a deadline.” If your organization has been postponing some of the simple IT security basics, maybe Conficker’s “bright side” is that you’ll do what needs to be done.
Details of some of the steps to take include:
- Make sure all your critical Microsoft and Apple patches are installed. Organizations should use a centralized patch management tool. For short instructional videos for home users click here for Macintosh: http://www.fosterinstitute.com/blog//update-your-mac.html and here for Windows: http://www.fosterinstitute.com/blog//update-your-pc.html
- Make sure other applications are patched.
- Make sure your anti-virus program is using the current version of the program, has the latest signature files, and is performing scheduled scans of all your computers. More information here
- Continue your practice of having a good backup at least once a day
- Use excellent firewalls and Web Content Filtering tools http://www.fosterinstitute.com/blog//block-sites.html#more-144
- Have regular IT Audits – See www.KeepMyNetworkSafe.com and http://www.fosterinstitute.com/blog//easy-it-audit.html#more-96 for more information
- Educate your users so they help protect your organization’s reputation http://www.fosterinstitute.com/blog//easy-it-audit.html#more-96
Even if the economy is having a negative effect on your business, protecting yourself is very economical. The expensive part is suffering the monetary loss from downtime, lawsuits, and loss of your company’s reputation.
Protect yourself today – and every day!