Internet Security Essentials – Infidati’s Guide to the Basics of Ideal Internet Protection

| September 30, 2016

Internet Security Essentials – Infidati’s Guide to the Basics of Ideal Internet Protection

Gone are the days when all you needed in an Internet security suite were antivirus, antispyware, and a firewall. But as network and Internet threats get more sophisticated, so grows the need for advanced Internet security essentials.

We’ve covered this year’s top rated Internet security software, but one key has been missing: what to look for in the best security protection for you. Although there are many components involved in the best security suites, today we’ll cover the highlights of what you should look for as you shop around.

Security 101

Think of Internet security as your first line of defense against the most nefarious hacker and malware attacks that could pull the plug on your business, or at least shut you down for an inconvenient period of time. Internet security essentials cover a wide gamut, addressing today’s most pressing security risks. Looking at many security suites on the market, you’ll likely see specs that advertise cloud protection, anti-phishing, online backup, and sandboxing. What do you all these terms mean? Do you really need them? We break down these basics (and more) for you in these handy guide.

Signature Detection – Although signature detection is not as critical as it used to be, it’s still a required piece of antivirus software. Signature detection is basically the means by which malware is recognized and analyzed by security experts. After the analyses, these experts then upload the signatures of viruses that threaten your system, telling your computer not to install the identified “iffy” programs.

Due to zero-day threats, which are attacks that exploit vulnerabilities the day they are discovered, signature detection can’t quite keep up with the load of daily generated malware. However, when signature detection is part of your security suite, this virus database still removes the vast majority of threats prowling cyberspace, keeping your network and company safe and sound.

Behavior- and Cloud-Based Detection – When signature detection lets some attacks fall through the cracks, behavior- and cloud-based detection step in like the private eyes of your suite setup. To ensure that your security vendor offers these functions, look for features that advertise detecting new and unknown viruses by monitoring the processes’ behavior or analyzing based on user experience.

Behavioral detection works by judging potential malware based on its interaction with your computer. However, legitimate software can also behave similarly when it requires access permission, making false positives a potential issue. To counter this problem, look for software that detects behavior by noting the choices users make when faced with a malware warning.

Firewall – Yes, you still need a firewall. For best practices, you’ll want a top-rated, two-way firewall. If you run Windows, the operating system already has a good firewall that provides firewalling and packet filtering functions. However, if you go outside of Windows for a firewall, keep in mind that firewall services are only as good as the product itself. For a quality firewall, look for functions that monitor your internet connection and block outside parties from accessing your Wi-Fi. You also want to make sure that control is just as stringent for screening outgoing data as it is for incoming (potential malware). If you choose a third-party firewall, disable the built-in Windows version.

Data Protection and Theft Prevention – What’s the goal of any malware threat? To make money. Attackers steal your data, forge your identity to make purchases, sell sensitive data, or steal funds right out of your bank account. Today’s security software must provide data protection and theft prevention to keep you and all your devices safe. Data is almost unrecoverable in case you have a good protection component in place.

Ideal security should include a data filter that prevents sensitive data like your bank info from leaving your computer without your permission. And you’ll want anti-phishing, which is the ability to block websites that promote scams or credit card phishing. Also, look for encryption of email, instant messaging, and file transfers. One other feature you’ll want is one that will allow you automatically and remotely locate and message your lost device, allowing you to recover as quickly as possible from devastating theft.

Reliable Backup – The idea of backing up your files may cause your eyes to roll back in your head, but being proactive about backup can save you monumental grief in the end. Having secure backup for your most important information is an imperative reinforcement in the instance your network crashes, contracts a virus, or experiences theft. The best security software will offer airtight cloud storage to protect your critical files. Specifically, you’ll want to look for storage options that include data encryption using industry-standard AES algorithms. By incorporating backup services that involve these algorithms, you’ll ensure your files are never accessible to potentially malicious third parties.

Antispam and Email Protection – Spam has been haunting the virtual world since the dawn of the Internet, but its long-term existence doesn’t make it less aggravating or damaging. From suspicious forwards to advertisements for “magic bullet” remedies, spam infects your inbox and makes you, the receiver, the weakest link because you can end up forwarding it on to anyone. When searching security suites, you’ll want to look for a product that can check links and files in email, and that contains a robust antispam function.<\p>

Sandboxing – A final crucial function of any complete security setup is sandboxing. Sandboxing is a kind of software virtualization that allows programs and processes to run in an isolated virtual environment, known as a virtual browser. By isolating your web-surfing experience from the operating system, you’re able to block threats as you tread potentially dangerous waters. Programs that run in the sandbox have limited access to your files and systems, meaning that nothing threatening leaves the sandbox to make permanent changes.

Let Knowledge Empower You

Knowing these basic Internet security essentials helps pave the way for smarter protection software shopping. Just keep in mind that it’s advisable to not install multiple products from different vendors. Look around, and find one or two compatible programs that will work together to give you the best security possible for your business or organization. For any other questions about what should be included in an ideal security package, contact us today.