Ransomware Protection 101: Tips for Defending Your Business

Ransomware Protection 101: Tips for Defending Your Business

What is ransomware?

In short, ransomware is a type of cyber threat stemming from software that literally holds your computer system hostage. This type of malicious software blocks the owner or user from accessing the system until a designated ransom is paid. Generally, ransomeware viruses encrypt a businesses computer system or certain critical files. A few recent and highly successful ransomware software types are Cryptolocker, TeslaCrypt, and Cryptowall.

While it is not critical to pay the "ransom", the infected business will have to sink money into disinfecting and restoring backup data. In the end, it just depends on which will be more expensive: paying the ransom to gain access or paying a professional to restore your system and files.

With this is in mind, it’s more important than ever to 

3 Tips for Defending Against Ransomware

1) Back-Up Your System

As mentioned above, one of the most detrimental issues with ransomware attacks is access to your data. Some hackers may even search out systems that don’t have routine or regular back up’s in place. Therefore, the best way to defend your system, avoid attacks, and save on costly restoration is by backing up your data. Depending on the expediency of new data procured on a regular basis, businesses may want to consider daily or even multiple daily back-ups.

2) Know How to Identify Threats

Businesses with an in-house tech team are generally familiar with constant warnings regarding malicious links and scam emails.

In tech terms, these emails and links are called "phishing", which refers to hackers who pose as legitimate entities with the intent to breach security and gain financial access to an account or system, and malvertising, which is malware embedded within ads through the compromising of an advertiser’s network.

Both phishing and malvertising are popular avenues for ransomware attacks. 

Therefore, an important aspect of proactive protection against ransomware attacks is learning how to identify phishing and malvertising attempts and knowing how to discard them properly. The simplest way for larger businesses to protect themselves is by implementing a "just say no" policy. Never open emails or click on links that lead to advertisements or that are from unfamiliar senders. It’s also extremely helpful to have employees undergo awareness training to become familiar with phishing and malvertising attempts.

3) Disconnect, Disconnect, Disconnect

If a system has been compromised by ransomware, the most important step is to disconnect all systems. This includes network operations, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connections. While some of your systems may be infected, disconnecting will stem the spread of the infection.

After the infection has been contained, it’s important to review and identify which systems have been infected and with what strain of the virus. The type of virus will determine how to decontaminate. If it is known, there may be companies that can help debug. Unfortunately, for those with an unknown strain, deconstruction of the system or paying the ransom may be the only options.

With a team of professional, certified repair technicians, Onsite Techs Computer Services focuses their high quality touch on the RI computer repair space. Currently servicing over 3000 clients in Rhode Island and the surrounding areas, Onsite Techs has become the go-to computer repair team. For more information or to speak directly with a representative, feel free to contact us.