Every user on a business network is part of that Network’s security. If users are not conscious of emails they receive and attachments they open, they are potentially compromising their entire organization. Network security and local anti-virus solutions can block or eliminate a majority of the various harmful things that are prevalent on the Internet. Unfortunately, those people that the security is designed to protect our networks from have learned that loopholes are present that can circumvent nearly any kind of network security. Most of these loopholes involve interaction from users inside of the security firewalls and already on the internal network.

We have recently seen a surge in the spread of “Ransomware.”  Ransomware is just one example of malicious email bypassing security completely. These sorts of attacks work by having an unsuspecting user simply open an attachment on an email. The user initiates a process “in the background” of his computer that searches for files on local drives, and out on network shares, then encrypts them, making them unusable to anyone on the network. After that process is underway, the process pops up a window explaining to the user that all their files are encrypted, and it demands money be sent electronically in order to get a code to decrypt the files. This is just one example of a malicious email. Others can contain hyperlinks to Internet sites that look innocent, but are actually masked and go to completely different locations that can run scripts to infiltrate the computer and then the network.

What can you do? Educate your employees on the dangers and vulnerabilities so they can help keep your network secure. If they’re not familiar with the email sender, or they weren’t expecting a file or link from the particular sender, educate them to not open it. Delete it, or at least confirm the email’s validity before going further. What else? Make sure you have a quality spam/virus filter on your company’s email server, and keep the virus definition databases up to date.

If you have any questions or concerns about this – or any other computer or network issues – please feel free to contact the Network Consulting team at Chortek. We’re here to help!