Computer viruses could put your business on life support


The problem of the computer virus is one that never really seems to go away. Even as technology advances and we use computers less frequently, the virus creators have simply switched targets to smartphones and tablets that have the least amount of security protection.

Viruses are – by their very nature – extremely hard to remove from an infected system and can spread absolutely everywhere. Just today it was reported that Stuxnet – the computer worm believed to have been created three years ago to target Iran’s nuclear facilities – has managed to spread to both a Russian nuclear power plant and up to the International Space Station.

Yes, you did read that correctly. The virus is thought to have accidentally travelled into space via the USB stick of a Russian cosmonaut. Luckily both of these should in theory be safe because they are not connected to the outside internet. But, if essential computer systems that people are relying on to stay alive can be compromised in such fashion, what hope does your IT admin have of protecting your business?

This goes to show that dealing with data protection at work is one of the hardest and most thankless tasks. Another high-profile virus story that was also in the media lately were the reports that a new type of “ransomware” virus was infecting users, encrypting all of the data on their system and then demanding hundreds of dollars to un-encrypt it or else their half of the key will be deleted and your files will be unrecoverable.

The virus is so effective once it takes hold of your system that many people have found the only way to get their data back is to pay the ransom for the encrypt key. This type of thing is likely to become more frequent in the near future and it could even be used to maliciously sabotage businesses. If your business was hit by this ransomware virus, what would you do? If you don’t have adequate backups, paying the ransom might well be your only available option to recover vital data.

That’s why keeping an additional separate backup of your data within the cloud is always advisable and if you use a solution that backups everything automatically for you then it will give you added peace of mind.

If you don’t take data backup for your business seriously, here are some sobering statistics from Microsoft:

  • Number of US households that have had serious virus problems in the past 2 years
  • 16 million

  • Number of US households that have had spyware problems in the past 6 months
  • 8 million

  • Number of households that lost money or had accounts misused by phishing
  • 1 million

  • Estimated cost to US households for viruses, spyware and phishing
  • $4.55 billion

  • Percent of all US households that have been affected by viruses
  • 40 %

But don’t panic too much if you are worried about your current data backup setup and have no idea what to do to get started. If you contact one of the WinWeb team we will be happy to point you in the right direction.

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