What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is an attack on the data, information and privacy of your computer by use of dangerous software. Typically, the security and access to a system is compromised. The attackers could essentially:
- Threaten to release sensitive data.
- Block access passwords to your systems.
- Threaten to delete both the data and passwords.
Often, the attackers will state that these problems will cease as soon as a fee has been paid. This is where the term ‘ransom’ comes from. Money is however not always the end goal of a ransomware attack but this is usually the case. If you run or work in a small to medium size company, such an attack could be potentially devastating to the business.
What are some ways we can prevent such an attack from happening?
Ransomware has increased in its technological complexity over the last 5 years, so taking measures to preemptively avoid the prospect of dealing with advanced malicious software is what you should focus on.
Be Careful of what you Click on
Be on the lookout for suspicious looking notifications or emails. Sophisticated modern software can make an email look legitimate, but dubious hyperlinks can automatically open your system up to harm.
Unless they are a contact you are aware of or at the very least appear legitimate, be vigilant. If someone is telling you that you are the winner of a competition, or that they are a foreign prince and ‘just need someone to help with transferring money through your company’, think twice before you click.
Bottom line; if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Make Your Staff and Colleagues Aware
It is one thing for you to be informed about the threats of ransomware, however this knowledge needs to be spread from the top down. This is especially important if you are in a company that deals with sensitive customer information.
Make a point of educating people about the risks in your business. It could take just one member of staff to open an unfortunate link, or unknowingly respond with information to a suspicious email.
Have regularly scheduled data backups, which are linked to an external drive or a cloud platform. It is ideal to have more than one source of data backup, so as to ensure there is always an alternative place of storage.
For example, our Datto Solution is a useful avenue to explore. In the case of a disaster situation, the Datto Solution will allow you to continue to use your data while we rebuild your server. How does it do that? The Datto Solution allows for a virtual image of your server to be spun up either locally on Datto hardware or via a virtual image that can be spun up in the cloud. This limits downtime and allows you to continue to run your business with live data.
Consult the Experts
It might be a good time to consider professional assistance. The cost of paying an IT company to monitor and protect your systems will be worth it, considering the potential ramifications of a ransomware attack. After all, who wants to spend their valuable time worrying about security threats when they’re also trying to run a business?
- Think twice before you click
- Share your knowledge with staff
- Always, always backup
- Consider talking to the professionals
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