Of all the assets that you possess, awareness is your greatest! Being aware of what is out there and being aware that there are things you can do are most helpful to you. Your ability to research the subject matter and read through the techie blogs are just a couple of your available resources.
There are a few other tests that can be done, some as simple as an email to yourself. There is the EICAR Test String, which has been useful in the past and perhaps it has been updated over the years to aid with the changes in the prevailing Operating Systems…who knows? (www.eicar.org/anti_virus_test_file.htm) What you do is send the string in the body of an email or as an attachment via email. If your anti-virus is working properly you will raise a flag on your system.
Another test of interest, very similar, is the malware security test (http://www.gfi.com/emailsecuritytest/) which is a series of tests sending emails with malicious-like scripts in several common programming languages.
There are some behavioral-analysis tools for the computer and network as a whole in order to test for malware attacks, which do not match to a specific signature but performs basic functions such as writing to your disk.
Malware countermeasures, there are a plethora…your safest bet is to never connect to the internet if you desire to maintain an absolutely clean system. But we all know that is not likely to ever happen. Some things you can do are as follows:
- Keep your system & network updated at all times
- Test, Test, Test – ensure it is a fortress
- Use anti-malware & anti-virus software
- Back-up critical data regularly
- Ensure the use of your firewall protection
- As email goes, if I don’t know the sender I do not open
I hope this short series was helpful to you. Perhaps, like me, while reading one of these gloom and doom articles or blogs you may open your eyes and say, “maybe I should do something about my security today.” If you are a professional IT person, I hope you decided this when you got hired…now is kind of late. But the average home network user, on a general not, assumes that everything is set up and ready for them, but it is not until you make certain of it.