Jul 12, 2016
How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware is a method of cyber extortion and unfortunately, it’s not going away any time soon. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve seen a strong increase in these cases.
When businesses fall victim to ransomware, many feel the best or easiest way to get their data back is to pay the ransom. For some businesses this may be their only option, but every time a ransom is paid, the funding for the development of the next variation of ransomware continues.
Here are 5 tips to help protect your data and your livelihood against ransomware:
- User education is the first line of defense: Train users to not trust emails from senders they do not know, or are not expecting an email from. Most importantly, train users to be cautious of emails that contain phishing materials or unknown and possibly malicious attachments.
- Keep systems updated: Keep patches updated on the operating systems of your servers and workstations. Routinely and frequently updating your operating systems will help protect against vulnerabilities which extortionists take advantage of.
- Use Antivirus software: Antivirus software must be on every device and be kept updated. New ransomware variants are released at all times, and making sure your Antivirus knows about these new variants is essential.
- Back up data: You absolutely must backup your data and keep it in a safe location! The more frequently you back it up and get it offsite, the better. In the event your data is compromised, you can rest assured you can get it back with a reliable solution in place.
- Put additional systems in place to protect users and data: Firewall UTMs perform Intrusion Prevention Detection, Web Filtering, and Antivirus scanning to protect your network from the outside world. They also provide a secure way to let guests and mobile devices on your network without giving access to sensitive company data. Use email filtering to protect again SPAM, phishing, and malicious attachments.
Companies of all sizes are at risk and there is no single piece of hardware or software which will protect you 100% from being affected by ransomware. However, you can take preventative measures like our tips above, to reduce your exposure as well as minimize your loss and downtime in the event you are affected.
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About The Author
Matt Garrett is a Team Leader, and Tier III Network Analyst at Collabrance. He started as a Tier II Systems Analyst, and used to own an ISP before working at Collabrance. Matt also serves on the Board of Directors at the Last Hope Animal Rescue, a local non-profit 100% run by volunteers.