Computer viruses have been around almost as long as computers. And no industry – not even the recycling industry – will be spared by malicious hackers, crackers and online criminals who want to gain access to a recycler’s database or their computer’s processing power.
It’s critical that recyclers take extreme caution to establish multiple layers of protection to insulate their businesses from online criminals. Below, please find information related to viruses, malware and how your computing environment could become infected. A free 30-day trial of the anti-virus and anti-spyware software from ESET, a recommended 21st Century Programming partner, is available by clicking here.
What is a virus?
The term “virus” is a catch-all phrase meaning any malicious computer program that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another – much like humans spread a cold. The word “virus” is also sometimes used, incorrectly, to describe other kinds of malware, when in fact malware can include viruses, and also worms, Trojan horses, spyware, dishonest adware and all sorts of other unwanted software that is specifically designed to destroy personal computers.
What is Malware?
Malware is a term short for “malicious software” and is software designed to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems. While it is sometimes software, it can also appear in the form of script or code. Malware is a general term used to describe any kind of software or code specifically designed to exploit a computer, or the data it contains, without consent The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software.
How does a computer become infected?
In general, malware is installed on a computer through the exploitation of security holes (open ports and networks lacking firewalls are exceptionally susceptible). The most common form of malware is spyware, a for-profit malware, that is designed to monitor users' web browsing, display unsolicited advertisements, or redirect affiliate marketing revenues to the spyware creator.
Spyware is concealed in a manner of different ways, as a Trojan horse, as a rootkit or backdoor. Read more about concealment by clicking here.
When malware is installed on a victim’s computer it can take the entire system down, along with a your company’s data – which in the context of the recycling industry usually includes your customers personal identification information like drivers license numbers, addresses, and vehicle identification numbers, not to mention your company’s database of receivers, shipments, inventory and so much more.
What steps can recyclers take to prevent infection?
1.) Hire an IT professional – a true professional, not just some guy in your office who declares “if you break enough of them, you learn how to put ‘em back together again.” When millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of bits of data are on the line, it’s not a good idea to put the fate of your business in the hands of a weekend IT warrior.
2.) Install a company-wide antivirus and antispyware software. There are many options out there and a professional IT consultant will make a recommendation that he/she feels is most compatible with your software system. 21st Century Programming recommends ESET. ESET is compatible with the Recycling Operations Manager (ROM) Software.
3.) Get a firewall. A firewall is a device, or a set of devices set up to permit or prevent network transactions based on a set of rules you set forward with your IT consultant. The firewall is another layer of protection that makes it difficult for viruses or malware to reach your computer and infect others in the system.
4.) Hire a company to proactively monitor your network activity 24/7. Proactive monitoring is different than simply installing anti-virus software – it’s a fourth layer of defense. And now 21st Century Programming offers it. Learn more by calling (562) 981-1030.
Virus News From Around the Web:
Take care with internet security (click here to go to article link)
Microsoft and financial services groups disrupt Zeus botnets (click here to go to article link)
ESET White Paper: Malware Goes Mobile (click here to go to article link)
Computer Security Part One: Viruses, Malware, and Root Kits (click here to go to article link)
Keeping antivirus protection current can fend off malware (click here to go to article link)
Symantec Report (click here to go to article link)
Annual Worldwide Economic Damages from Malware Exceed $13 Billion (click here to go to article link)