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Spam and malware: How you can guard against it

08/31/2012 | Security |

If you're using dedicated servers at the heart of your data center, one of the key concerns you may have at the current time is the threat of malware and spam. This is an issue which is increasing in importance, as the amount of malicious emails being sent is still very high and becoming more dangerous. Although recent research by Kaspersky showed a slight fall in the percentage of spam mail in July - dropping by 0.1 percentage points to account for 71.8 per cent of traffic - what is being sent could have the potential to cause serious disruption to your business.

The security firm found there was a 50 per cent increase in emails containing malware in July, with these making up 4.4 per cent of all mail. It observed spammers were keen to exploit the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the London Olympics to entice people to open their attachments. As senior spam analyst at the firm Maria Namestnikova observed spam is becoming more dangerous, in particular noting "there is increasing use of malware that can infect a computer as a result of an email simply being opened", it will be essential your systems are protected as strongly as possible. While having up-to-date security software installed is obviously an essential part of this, the fact is most malware makes it on to a network due to human error.

Many people may assume having security software makes them safe from threats, but this is not the case. Research conducted by O+K Research at the request of Kaspersky found half of people are unable to recognise a phishing email or a fake website. Therefore, educating staff members in good security practice and reminding them never to open any emails from people they do not recognise is essential. As many spam emails can infect a PC even before attachments are opened, it is crucial malicious mail is identified and deleted as soon as possible. However, when you're looking to protect your dedicated servers from becoming infected, it's important to remember there are other ways malware can get on to a network. With many employees using unprotected USB sticks to transport data, businesses may also be vulnerable to malware carried on these devices if they do not regulate the use of such items.

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