Having a virus on a personal computer is bad enough, but when a virus propagates across an entire network, the cleanup that follows can be more than a small home or small business can handle. Even a network that boasts the ‘best’ defense can fall to a crafty virus, so it’s best to know how to recover from the damage. By understanding a few symptoms, failure points and recovery techniques, a virus incident doesn’t have to be a reason to panic.
Divide And Conquer
It doesn’t matter if a virus is on one computer or multiple computer on the network; isolate the situation as soon as possible. Many subcategories of viruses are designed to replicate across a network, following instructions to seek every path available to spread their corruption and copy the destructive capabilities to everything within their reach.
Even if every computer on the network is actively running virus removal, there is a chance that an infecting virus could lodge itself at a lucky moment when the scan has already finished searching a specific area. Even worse, a newly repaired computer could be corrupted once again.
If it means shutting down the central connecting point such as a switch or router, make it so. If each computer needs to be individually disconnected, either disable the network device by following the instructions for your operating system such as Windows or Apple, or physically disconnect the network cables.
In the case of wireless devices, disconnect them as well. Even if your smartphone or tablet computer is on an operating system that may be impervious to the specific virus, the raw files could still use the device as a hopping point on the way to other devices.
Quarantine Or Delete? Choose Carefully!
After a virus scan has identified a virus threat, there are a few choices to make. Many files that come from a virus incident can be deleted without worry, but there are times when a tenacious attack can make cleanup complicated.
There are times when a legitimate file can be corrupted. Files such as pictures, music, personal documents or a file required by your computer could be edited with malicious code, either rendered useless or still functioning with a secondary trait of sustaining the virus.
Virus cleaning software may be able to reverse the corruption, but it isn’t a guarantee. Before rushing to delete any files that appear to be dangerous, check to see if your virus scanner has a quarantine function. The quarantine function places files in another folder to be walled off from the rest of the computer, safe from deletion and unable to easily corrupt. Examine the files, and if necessary, see if technical support specialists can repair the damage.
Many of the battles fought in virus removal require in depth knowledge and experience gained only from years of dealing with system infections. Contact a network management consultant if you need help with securing your network against permanent virus damage. To learn more and how networks are protected, talk to experts like Nate who can help you figure out what you need to do to keep your data safe.