In this article, get reliable best practices that can help you mitigate malware effects on a machine.

Malware is easily transferred from one system to another via emails, cloud sharing, flash drives…etc. Cyber security professionals work to prevent malicious scripts and aim to ensure a malware-free working environment. 

Nonetheless, in 2021, 74% of organizations observed malware activity that spread from one machine to the next. Are you able to stop sophisticated malware threats from stealthily jumping devices?

How to mitigate malware effects on a machine

Malware mitigation is challenging. The process involves determining whether or not malware exists on a host system and then determining whether or not any suspicious scripts are actually malicious. 

Although malware mitigation knowledge is essential for any system administrator or IT professional, not everyone takes it seriously or knows how to facilitate the process in an optimal way.

  1. Conduct a scan. If malware appears to have made it onto a device under your control, conduct a scan to ensure that the malware no longer exists on the device. Scanning tools can prevent malware from accessing additional endpoints and spreading further than it already might have. 
  2. Patch and update. Mitigate malware’s potential effects on a machine by updating and patching the operating system as necessary. Patching not only mitigates the threat of a new malware infection, it can also optimize performance and keep systems both current and stable. Patching significantly reduces cyber risk. 
  3. Auto-settings for antivirus. In the event that you’ve implemented an antivirus program, ensure that it is set to update automatically. Leading endpoint protection software typically allows administrators to enable an auto-update feature. 
  4. Install local firewalls on devices. Every device, from laptops to mobile devices needs to have a firewall that can assist with detection of malicious behavior. A firewall leverages a set of previously defined rules to assess whether or not certain activity appears malicious. 
  5. Consider using a content filter and proxy server. These items can help prevent users from unknowingly accessing a malicious website. 
  6. Implement an email filter that can help eliminate malicious attachments. The inbox is a prime target for cyber security threats. As many as 90% of cyber attacks on enterprise systems derive from malicious emails. Email security can directly prevent malware from making its way onto a machine and from spreading to other devices. 
  7. Monitor logs. Logs are valuable tools that can assist in keeping systems running optimally. They serve as ‘flags’ indicating when something malicious has begun to move through systems. As a result, logs for firewalls, proxy servers, DNS servers…etc., should be examined on a daily basis.

Concluding thoughts

In the event that a machine gets infected, despite proper security configurations, ensure that it is quickly removed from the network. All outgoing data to external networks should be stopped immediately, if possible. As an administrator, analyze logs to determine the intruders’ initial entry point. Find out about how systems may be affected.

For more information about how to mitigate malware effects on a machine, see CyberTalk.org’s past coverage. 

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