Ransomware: What Is It & How Can You Protect Your Business?

Written by  //  April 5, 2017  //  Business  //  Comments Off on Ransomware: What Is It & How Can You Protect Your Business?

Most business owners are now familiar with Trojan horses, phishing, and the simple virus, but there’s a new kind of weapon that cyber criminals are starting to use more widely – that weapon is ransomware.

Ransomware refers to a program that remotely encrypts a device, making it impossible to use, with a ransom then demanded in order to free the system. It’s a method that has seen a 35% rise over the last year. The FBI reports that $24 million was extorted during the last year, and that’s just from attacks that were actually reported.

Any strike against a business can be extremely problematic. As well as losing man hours, you’ll risk having your client’s or customer’s data either exposed or lost, and it’s unlikely that paying the money will even resolve the situation.

With that in mind, here are some steps to follow to protect yourself.

Back up your data

Above all, make sure that you regularly backup your data. This can be done more easily if you migrate to the cloud since all of your data will automatically be backed up to a secondary location. By creating copies of your data, you’ll minimise the possible losses that could occur as the result of ransomware infiltration.

Conduct Security Awareness Training

Malicious web users have become increasingly sophisticated, and those who use ransomware are often ahead of the curve. It’s often easy for team members to take the bait and allow ransomware into your system. Conduct security awareness training so team members can spot potential issues and prevent any problems.

Make Regular Upgrades and Updates

If you’re using an older firewall or anti-virus system, or if you have an older operating system, you might find that the proper safeguards are not in place to prevent newer threats, such as ransomware. Remember, you need the latest protection to keep yourself protected from the latest cyber threats, so make sure you perform all system updates on time and upgrade any older security software.

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