Security Tools You Need to Use

Keith is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Head of Global Infrastructure Services at Universal Weather and Aviation, a billion-dollar international aviation services company that operates 50 locations in 20 countries.

Anti-Virus and PC Firewalls:

Install and regularly update software firewall, antivirus, and anti-spyware programs collectively referred to as Endpoint Protection. These software programs can help to protect the data on your computer, and can easily be purchased on the web or at your local office supply store. The best products will cover all of these features and can be used on computers and mobile devices. Pay close attention to the licensing and be sure to purchase enough to cover all your devices. The leading products are listed below:

Malware Removal:

There are FREE tools designed to help remove malicious malware and adware from PCs. These tools are different than normal anti-virus as they focus on removing infections, rather than preventing them.

Even if you don’t think you are infected you should scan your PC periodically, just to be sure. All of the following are well established, trusted, vendors.

If after running these tools, you think you might still be infected, the best course of action is to back up your data, reformat your hard drive and reload your PC operating system. You will want to be sure you have an operating system recovery disk for re-loading the image before you start. Alternately, most electronics shops and PC service centers can provide this service.

Online Malicious File and Website Scanners:

There are free online virus checker tools that allow you to upload files and have them tested for viruses, worms, trojans, and all kinds of malware. Along with file upload, some also allow you to have a website scanned to see if it contains any viruses or malicious code. If you get an attachment in an email that you think might be legitimate but want to double check, you can load it up to an online scanner. Online scanners run the file against many different detection tools and are constantly updating their records. Website scanning is also an important feature if you are sent a link or the attachment is not malicious but contains links. Those links could be to malicious sites. That is one-way attackers get around anti-virus scanners. They don’t send an infected file, just a link to a malicious website.

Password Managers: Every year there are more studies revealing that the most popular passwords are awful. Obvious passwords like “123456” and “password” always top the lists. Many people also use the same password everywhere. It is easy to break into an account that uses very common or weak passwords. The problem is that avoiding the same passwords and weak passwords is hard. Fortunately, help is available in the form of password management software.

Getting all of your existing passwords into the password manager is a good first step. Next, you need to identify the weak and duplicate passwords and replace them with stronger ones. Many password managers flag weak and duplicate passwords, and some offer help with updating. Most purchasable password managers offer a basic set of features in a free version and support all major platforms including Windows/OS X/Linux/Android/iOS.

Purchased Tool Options:

Note: The following vendors may offer free versions that meet all your basic needs

o $12 per year (There is also a corporate edition)

o $19.99 per year or $99.99 for a Lifetime license

o $49.99 per device

Free Tool Options: