While ransomware isn’t new, it has gained increasing notoriety since May 12, 2017, when a variety called WannaCry was responsible for the largest cyberattack on record. The term ransomware is aptly named, combining the threat of malware—preventing the victim from accessing their data—with the demand for a paid ransom to ensure its release. Both individuals and businesses of all sizes are at risk, but there are a number of steps you can take to help protect your business, including those listed below.
Strengthen Your Defenses
Protect your sensitive data from thieves, by routinely installing system updates as they become available. The latest ransomware attack was successful due to a vulnerability in Microsoft software, and while a security patch had been issued nearly two months-prior, the affected parties had failed to install it. Another effective defense involves whitelisting of software applications, which can prevent your computers from installing any programs that aren’t approved.
Think Before You Click
The simple act of opening an email, clicking on a link, or downloading materials to your computer is all it takes for malware to infect your computer or system network. The latest subversive method of access is through malvertising: embedding malware in ads placed on trusted websites. Adblockers can help prevent this type of infection, along with operating system updates and patches. User training can help reduce the amount of random clicking that takes place in your office, but it shouldn’t be relied upon as your first, or only, line of defense.
Get Your Back-Up
Disaster recovery software will ensure your data is backed up on a daily basis and stored safely in the cloud. While this can’t prevent a ransomware attack from occurring it will allow you to access your data, eliminating the need to bargain with thieves for the safe return of your information, and help you to continue business as usual.
Pull the Plug
At the first sign of infection, it’s imperative that all computers are immediately disconnected from the network to prevent it from spreading further. Consider implementing periodic simulations throughout your office, as part of your risk management strategy, to save vital seconds in the event of an actual ransomware attack.
Contact us today to learn more about the steps you can take to protect your business from the threat of ransomware with customized security solutions.