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Utilize Urges Business To Take Action Now To Combat the 3 Biggest Virus Threats of 2013

Leading London IT support company Utilize offers tips on how businesses can protect their IT systems from this year’s most damaging virus threats.

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December 1, 2013 (FPRC) -- As technology becomes more sophisticated, so do the threats faced by businesses who rely on the web to communicate with staff and customers. Damian Coates, company director at Utilize, has expressed concern in recent days over the fact that many companies of varying sizes still do not currently have effective system protection plans in place, despite warnings that today’s malware is more advanced than ever before.

To ensure more business owners are aware of the security threats faced by their IT systems, Damian has put together a short list of the three biggest virus threats from 2013 and outlined the steps IT technicians and general system users need to take to prevent cyber-attacks from taking hold of their internal systems.

1. Mobile Malware

Attacks on smartphone software only started to become a real threat to industry in 2012, but since then the mobile malware market has grown significantly. Mobile spam is also becoming a big problem for phone users; messages containing harmful ‘phishing’ links can come through in the form of either an SMS or an email, so it’s important that users take care not to respond to any suspicious messages from senders not on their approved list.

2. Ransomware.

Ransomware has emerged as hackers have had to become much more devious in order to gain access to protected systems. This form of malware holds data hostage and forces users to part with their cash in order to regain control of their system.

The easiest way to avoid becoming a victim to ransomware is to run a virus scanner on every file that enters the system from an unknown (and therefore untrusted) source.

Sean Carey, a remote support desk engineer at Utilize, recently discovered a particularly dangerous ransomware variant called Cryptolocker. This blog post by Utilize’s own Guy Hocking outlines the threat posed by Cryptolocker and explains how exactly it can hold an IT network to ransom through encryption.

3. Social media attacks

Scams on social media accounts can spread very quickly from profile to profile, and, if implemented correctly, are a ‘quick win’ for hackers, so it comes as no surprise that attacks on social media profiles have risen dramatically in 2013. Social media accounts contain all kinds of sensitive information, including phone numbers, addresses and email addresses. This information can then be sold on to data thieves or used to access further user data such as online banking passwords and PIN details. As before, businesses need to be careful not to reply to any unsolicited messages from unknown users and avoid clicking on links that look suspicious. It’s also advisable to change social media account passwords regularly.

'It is absolutely crucial that businesses regularly update all anti-virus software, install an adequate gateway security platform and ensure all business data is backed up in case their system is invaded by malicious software,' summarises Damian. 'Those who don’t act now to counter the very real threat of such damaging viruses are leaving themselves exposed to potentially disastrous consequences.'

Utilize is a leading provider of IT support services in London and throughout the South East. Its team of expert consultants and engineers work tirelessly to deliver first-class network support to businesses looking for extra support for their in-house team and companies keen to outsource all their IT needs to a specialist provider. Utilize has held the highest Microsoft accreditations for over ten years and is also the only IT support company in the South East to hold both ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certifications. For more information on the wide range of IT support services available from Utilize, please visit the website or call 0845 366 6066.

Send an email to Damian Coates of Utilize
01245477449

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