Viruses and Malware

Malware is now a multibillion dollar enterprise often ran by organised crime syndicates, most of them based in the Eastern Bloc countries, China, India and Russia. These cyber criminals target everything from bank accounts, corporate data, network passwords and data for use in identity theft, and are no longer benign; they can now infect with impunity everything from your PC to your CISCO routers. Malware is now routinely used to retrieve personal or corporate data without the knowledge of the person or organisation and it has become very sophisticated. 

Many business owners and managers still don't fully understand that viruses, worms, Trojan horses and other bits of digital nastiness are also serious budget eaters. The cost of cleaning up a malware infection might be a few thousand dollars in terms of labour if you’re lucky, but if a hacker uses that piece of malware to sniff passwords and gains access to the corporate network, the indirect or secondary damages could be enormous.

Down time is a serious consideration, should the one of the more modern digital nasties, just the time taken in deep scanning can take several days, the below figures represent expected deep scanning times, cleaning the data can take any where from 1hour to 1 day once the issues are found.

  • 24>36 hours for a Stand alone PC
  • 24>48 hours for a Server
  • 24 hours > 7 days for a Storage Device of 2TB or more

It’s easy to be a scare monger however given today's hostile internet and lack of understanding of modern digital threats coupled with poor user practices, these treats are very real so the solutions should be too.

Virus and Malware removal and prevention that we use and why
This is what we use in on a day to day bases, I make no claim as to if this is the best or not, we find this works 99% of the time for us.

Some background on the various tools.

  1. Microsoft Security Essentials, this we have found to be almost unparalleled in finding those hard to find rootkits and malware that embed themselves deeply in the OS, make sense really after all Microsoft made the OS.
  2. G-Date, ok let’s be honest not the first choice for ease of use at the business end, and takes a fair amount of resources, however, if you’re willing to put some effort in configuring and have a reasonable machine this is the best first line defense we have come across, it’s a bit flaky with it AV updates and always has been so you need to make sure that both databases are updated without any issues.
  3. Hitman Pro, we can’t take credit for this a client came in with some issues and did a song and dance about Hitman Pro as a second defence, so we gave it a try and was to say the least impressed it is now part of our AV arsenal.
  4. ClamWin has been around for some time it's very good as an offline/call on-demand scanner nice to have a second opinion.
  5. Microsoft Safety Scanner, this is quite new to us and still very much in a test but so far all results indicate that this will join our AV arsenal.
  6. Panda seems to be very good at spotting and removing malware generally and good as the second option to MSS above.

For SMB prevention we use:

For Enterprise prevention we use:

For removal and checking we use:

There is plenty of information about all these products on their related sites I see no reason to duplicate the information here, so please do your due diligence and if you come across any good tools please let us know, we will test and if they make the grade we will add them here and to our AV arsenal.

If you want to know who is considered the best in the enterprise field look at the latest Gartner report: Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms.

It's easy to scaremonger however given today's hostile internet and lack of understanding of modern digital threats coupled with poor user practices, these treats are very real so the solutions should be too.

on Saturday July 14 by Peter Atkin
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