What is Ransomware?…. It’s a type of Malware (MALicious SoftWARE), a virus that encrypts critical files, rendering them inaccessible. A payment is then demanded to restore your files. Cybercrime is a booming business with millions being made every month. Globally over 2.3 million users were attacked in 2015-2016 and the UK Government estimates this cost business £21 Billion last year.
Who are they?….Ransomware organisations are not working out of seedy back rooms but inhabit office buildings run by business minded innovators, paying malware programmers. It’s big business with low overheads and high profits.
Who do they target?.…SMB’s, small & medium sized businesses with IT loopholes, out-dated or unpatched software, valuable data and a modest amount of money to pay. Last year 40% of businesses surveyed had experienced ransomware attacks with the UK having the highest proportion of all countries polled.
How do they get in?.…They may send a phishing e mail to someone in your company. 94% of people can’t distinguish between that and a genuine e mail every time. Click on that link and they’re in.
So how do I protect myself and my business?….Initially you must Educate and Inform employees about phishing scams. Awareness is Key! If you are vigilante when opening e mail attachments, many plots can be foiled. It’s also very important to keep your computer up to date and install the latest Windows Updates when prompted. This is called patch management and can be automated.
What Else?….It’s all about Layered Security!
Antivirus on PC’s + Email & Internet Filtering + Robust Backup
Antivirus: There are over 1 million new virus threats released daily, so a robust antivirus system is crucial. Don’t download antivirus software from non-authentic websites.
Email Protection: Office 365 has basic Spam and Malware protection as standard and ideally you want to scan both incoming and outgoing mail for any malicious attachment.
Internet Filtering: This can be in the form of Web Filtering or Gateway Devices (advanced firewalls) which sit between your network and the internet, providing the first layer of defence and so preventing Malware reaching the end user’s PC.
Backup, Backup, Backup: From using USB devices (although these can get damaged and rely on humans), right through to sophisticated Business Continuity Solutions, devices and apps that can back up to the cloud every 5 minutes.
It all revolves around your attitude to Risk!
If you would like more information on this subject, we have a team of experts who can guide you through the options.