We have had many enquiries about Ransomware from businesses with Ransomware Protection Advice.
What can they do to reduce the chances of them being infected or losing data.
Unfortunately enquires from businesses asking for help in data recovery subsequently after being hit with ransomware
Prevention is better than cure as with Ransomware, the cure is often extortion or a money scam
Paying protection money to a Ransomware writer will likely only lead to a larger Ransom or further extortion
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a new type of virus technology with is prolific across the internet.
It has become so common place that more customers are being affected by this type of virus than any other type of virus at this time
It is usually spread through email SPAM as an attachment or clickable link within an email
Ransomware relies on 2 specific tactics to infect your computer
· Delivery of virus / mechanism through spam email
· Activation of virus is through human error or lack of judgement
Below is some valueable information on Ransomware Protection Advice
I have Anti-Virus software so I am protected
Unfortunately, you could never be more wrong.
In an ideal world your anti-virus software would detect and stop every virus and the whole topic of viruses and ransomware would become a topic you would read about in history books.
This ideal scenario doesn’t exist in the present time, and probably won’t so far as money can be made by extorting businesses and individuals.
Why isn’t it being detected by my Anti-Virus software?
A recent study by a global anti-virus software manufacturer Sophos found that there were around 20,000 different variants of Ransomware being created every day. Ransomware Protection Advice
How Can I Get Infected?
Ransomware Viruses are man-made.
Ransomware viruses are usually propagated through email and activated through user intervention.
i.e. lack of human judgement, clicking on an email link or opening an attachment
Once you have downloaded the infected file, or clicked on the ‘dodgy link’ your computer is infected
Once your computer is infected, the virus will strart trawling through all of your files and encrypting them.
The Ransomware virus will also start trawling through all the files you have access to on your network
Ransomware Protection Advice
Ransomware Protection – What can I do to reduce the Risk of Ransomware
There is no single silver bullet here, and to reduce your risk of exposure to Ransomware there are number of steps you can do
Backup often and keep numerous previous backups or file versions
Ransomware will hijack your files and turn them into a format which you will no longer able to read without paying a ransom.
A business which has no data, can’t operate and will go into liquidation
By having a wide choice of backups to restore from reduces your risk of data loss exponentially
Try to use offline backups types, i.e. ones that once you have backed up your data are physically removed from the network.
Try not to use hard drives and NAS Drives as your primary backup medium.
Ransomware spreads by infecting and copying itself to all network drives and shares.
This means that it will not only infect your data, it could also infect and render your backups useless.
Hard Drive backups or NAS Drive Backups should be considered a poor man’s backup. Due to their physical constraints are in effect just a hard drive on the network, prime to be infected by any slightly capable virus
Anti-Virus software with inbuilt Ransomware Protection
Just Anti-Virus software nowadays simply isnt sufficient for the modern Cyber Security threats
Yes, adding Ransomware protection to your Anti-Virus Subscription will cost you a little bit more. But the alternative could be days or weeks of IT Downtime whilts your IT Team recovers your business
Staff education will go along way in preventing a Ransomware attack.
IT Systems and IT Security can only do so much.
If you have staff that are persisent or often take risks with your IT Systems, a Ransonware attached is probably only just round the corner.
Otherwise a Data Breach!
Educate Staff to report to their IT Team
- Anomalous issues with their Computers or Laptops
- If they have shared their passwords with someone else
- Access their Computer Systems from home
- Accidently clicked on an Email Attachment they were unsure about
- Have installed unsanctioned applications
- Have illegal or pirated software installed
Staff who help the business protect IT Systems are a bigger asset than those who take a cavalier attitude to IT Security
Patch often and early
You should ensure that all computers, laptops, tablets and servers are patched early and often.
When considering patching, the immediate thought processes is Microsoft Windows.
Although you should also look at other software which will need patching, i.e. Application Servers, Adobe Reader, Flash, JAVA, Zip programs, etc. etc.
One of the most frequent comments from business owners we hear is they don’t want their I.T Systems patched
- Don’t want the disruption
- Can’t afford the downtime
- Can’t afford a Server reboot
- Perhaps at some point in the past an update caused a problem.
Whilst I appreciate that patching can be a very time consuming and disruptive thing to do and carries a risk, the worst thing you can do is not patch or reboot once in a while.
Managed IT Systems
The time consuming element of Patching can by reduced to almost zero by your I.T Support company automating patching of all I.T Systems.
Automate Server reboots to a time of the day or week when disruption is minimised.
An IT Proactive Monitoring Service will identify IT Systems that are at risks and holes in the IT Cyber Security
If you don’t have a Managed IT Services Contract or an Proactively Monitored or Automated patching system, please contact us for advice.