The current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has the potential to be one of the biggest medical challenges facing the human race in 2014.
Ebola is an infectious disease identified by fever and severe internal bleeding, it is spread through contact with body fluids of an infected person. It is currently spreading quickly through West Africa, the World Health Organisation is struggling to contain it.
In much the same way as Ebola has an effect on the living, software viruses have a similar effect on our computing infrastructure.
There are thousands of threats to the health of computer systems active within the internet. Dealing with them takes a raft of different strategies, some of which you, as the end user, can control.
As web developers the Koda team are conscious of the importance protection plays when it comes to maintaining the integrity of the environments we create and support.
Of course we run antivirus software on our personal devices. Protection against Malware is an important consideration for us all.
- Malware is short for “malicious software” – a computer program designed to infiltrate , compromise or damage computers without the users consent
There are many mechanisms for protecting ourselves from these types of threats, the good news is that generally we can control the threat by taking action.
Software and Hardware firewalls are able to filter malicious content before it reaches our browser or email clients. Firewalls are configured filters that control traffic able to access your environment.
if you are not running a firewall on your desktop or laptop, you are exposing your computer to unwanted, potentially malicious attention.
So, we can manage the integrity of our own computer systems, however as webmasters and website administrators, how do we manage the threats posed against the underlying code deployed on our servers?
Managing vulnerabilities within software is an ongoing challenge, where small teams are responsible for the delivery of code (often a feature of proprietary software development), there is always a risk that something is missed and a vulnerability exposed that may compromise integrity, for open source systems the risk can exist too, a large uncoordinated community of developers can have a detrimental effect on the quality of code produced.
The Good News!
Drupal, as an open source content management system recognises the importance of protection against viral attack, as a result the Drupal community invest in a dedicated team of web professionals whose sole focus is on maintaining the integrity and protection of the Drupal core.
Security patches are released on a regular basis, and when applied ensure the protection of your environment.
Security patching is only effective when applied, at Koda we have a quarterly patching cycle that ensures all of our Drupal environments are updated with all available security patches on a regular basis – it is part of the service.
There is no comparison between the impact the Ebola outbreak has on society versus that of a computer virus, the remedy however is similar – protection!
Take the steps necessary to afford the protection you are seeking and you should be safe from uninvited attack.