This One Test Can Tell You Exactly How Well Your Cybersecurity Works

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Ever been privy to your company’s disaster recovery plan? Usually, there’s some convoluted chain of command involved as well as all sorts of passwords, backups, and remote operations. Just as likely is the fact that it will fail miserably the first time it’s activated.

This Test Will Help You Find How Your Cybersecutirty Works

That’s the thing about security systems: You can spend a fortune purchasing them and countless hours setting them up, but if you never test them, how do you know they work?

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That’s a real stick in the mud for lots of companies battling cybersecurity as well. They are so focused on activating everything and getting all their ducks in a row that they never actually put the system through the wringer to see how it responds to real threats.

It’s not always for lack of wanting to, either. Usually, only high-quality antivirus software companies like Malwarebytes have the environment or the resources to pull off such a test. The good news is that researchers at Europe’s Institute for Computer Antivirus Research (EICAR) have put together a proof for you to see just how robust your system is on crime.

How it Works

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The EICAR test is remarkably simple, a small text file a whopping 128 bytes in size. This file will be bundled into an executive extension like .exe, .bin., or bat. Once it is run, it will print the phrase “EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE!” and stop. If your antivirus software is up to par, it will be able to notify you that this file exists and should be dealt with. Copy and paste the following text into your Notepad or a similar program to get going:


Not every single antimalware system will respond to this test, but the majority of those for Windows operating systems should take to it like a moth to a flame. Check out EICAR’s website to see if there are any notable exceptions to the rule that might include your antivirus software.

Combatting Human Error

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The EICAR test is excellent for blocking access to your network, but that doesn’t account for the internal security threats that are present every day: your employees and coworkers. According to research, about 90% of problems with cybersecurity and data breaches in the US are due to human error; individually, people sharing credentials or losing them or opening up emails they should not or visiting websites loaded with malware. This threat is a lot tougher to test and maintain as it involves the training of your staff but also vigilance on their part to ensure that they remain steadfast in their duties. Very rarely are data breaches in a business environment due to some malicious inside actors. Violations occur when people share a credential, or leave a computer open and unattended, or simply don’t do the little things like resetting their password every 90 days, or making that password somewhat impossible for anyone else to guess. Your antivirus software is essential, but the people behind it are the ones who really need to be involved in protecting valuable digital assets.

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c5d094d2086cdf56ad5c1380e5317d2e?s=96&r=g - This One Test Can Tell You Exactly How Well Your Cybersecurity Works
Adeel Younas
Editor-in-Chief at TechWafer (previously The Tech) an Entrepreneur, Blogger, Developer, and Freelancer.

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