Ransomware shows no signs of slowing down. Attacks continue to grow, both in sheer numbers and in sophistication, as the IT world struggles to catch up. Despite the frightening statistics, and scary stories, there are some things you can do to lessen the likelihood of malware attack or limiting the damage.
Tighten Everything Up
At the heart of ransomware is software that you don’t want, getting launched into your IT environment. The attack point could be an edge device on your networks, such as a firewall, or anything that has an IP address. Make sure these devices have as few open ports as necessary for your business to function and make sure the operating system on each device is up to date. Finally, conduct a vulnerability test anytime you update or introduce a new device. Malware also often comes in through users’ workstations – use group policies to limit the workstations’ ability to download or run unapproved programs.
Smarten Everybody Up
Despite stories of skilled hackers punching their way through high-end firewalls, most ransomware is still launched by users who failed to recognize suspicious emails or websites. Educate your network users (many of whom may not be very tech-minded) on how to recognize suspicious emails and links. Help them develop better IT habits, and help them learn to think before opening attachments, clicking links in emails or indiscriminately visiting links from a Google search.
Back Everything Up
When something bad happens, there’s a sense of “I wish that hadn’t happened!” With a good image and data backup scheme, you can roll back an infected machine to a state prior to the infection. In many (if not most cases), this is quicker and easier than removing malware from a machine. Instead, you can restore to a point in time before the infection occurred. The notion of backup data is nothing new — businesses have been doing it for decades. With help from cloud technology, and other storage devices, recovery has become easier than ever, and the costs have come down, substantially.
You have a business to run – you can’t live in fear. Respect the dangers, and take sensible steps to mitigate them, and you will have a leg up on your competition. Clare Computer Solutions has been helping companies minimize their risk of cyber-threats for years – we can help you, too! Contact us to begin the conversation on protecting your business.
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Learn more about ransomware from this video.