3 Ways to Get Rid of Downloads and Strengthen Your IT Security

IT Security There are a lot of different ways cybersecurity threats can break through onto your network. Sometimes malware is too new to be caught by the latest catalog of known threats in your IT security antivirus program. Sometimes the attack is too complex or tries to attack too many different layers of your cybersecurity for it to be stopped. But these occurrences are relatively rare. Most threats get in because someone in your office let them in. There are a lot of potentially open doors at every company, and they include everything from malware designed to look like software patches to illicit online activity. Unfortunately, blocking Internet activity that isn’t… Read More

Shot of an internet file download in progress - IT security from downloads

IT Security

There are a lot of different ways cybersecurity threats can break through onto your network. Sometimes malware is too new to be caught by the latest catalog of known threats in your IT security antivirus program. Sometimes the attack is too complex or tries to attack too many different layers of your cybersecurity for it to be stopped.

But these occurrences are relatively rare. Most threats get in because someone in your office let them in. There are a lot of potentially open doors at every company, and they include everything from malware designed to look like software patches to illicit online activity.

Unfortunately, blocking Internet activity that isn’t work-focused won’t be effective. It’s next to impossible to block everything but essential work sites, and employees will find ways around the policy. If you have an open network, employees might also use personal tablets and cell phones on the work network. Wholesale blocks won’t bar the doors.

One of the most comprehensive ways to shut these open doors is to stop downloads. Here are three ways to do it:

1. Use SaaS for file creation and editing.

File downloads always cause complications. One of the easiest ways for email schemes to get a virus onto your network is to include a plausible-sounded attachment. If a malicious actor mirrors your site and email client, they can fool your coworkers into thinking an email is internal and the attached document is safe. Once a virus is downloaded, it’s harder to minimize the damage.

Using online editing tools and file sharing programs like Office 365 or hyperlinking communication tools like Slack doesn’t just minimize the incidents of bad downloads. It helps create a culture in which downloads are unusual. That makes it easier to catch problems.

2. Have a central network administrator handle updates.

Email attachments aren’t the only way to fool people into downloading unverified files. Malicious actors and malware creators intentionally design their tools to fool corporate employees that are on their business networks, and that social engineering is getting stronger and stronger.

Sometimes these downloads disguise themselves as Adobe patches or JavaScript requirements. Sometimes they look like essential downloads or cybersecurity updates. It’s extremely difficult for even trained professionals to catch these disguises, especially when they’re in the middle of an urgent assignment. The average employee doesn’t even know what warning signs to look for.

So put antimalware updates, program downloads, and operating system patches in the handle of a single team or third-party service. Not only does that reduce the odds someone will download something they shouldn’t, but you also ensure the legitimate updates happen on schedule.

3. Create an easy program request procedure.

Sometimes your standard set of software tools isn’t the right fit for everyone. Someone who needs to switch between several different billing programs, for example, needs to do more than split their screen; they need a reliable tool for splitting their screen into sixths. An employee in your Legal department may have a sensitivity to screen brightness and need a modified filter on these screens.

These programs exist, and they often exist for free. That makes it easy and tempting for employees to just download them as they need them, but that’s terrible for your network security.

Make it easy for employees to request different programs. If there’s a fast and simple way to get downloads vetted and approved, most employees will use the process. But if that procedure doesn’t exist, your IT team won’t know employees are downloading potentially dangerous programs until it’s too late.

Go to IT Networks Australia Pty Ltd for more tips to protect your business network and IT security.


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