What exactly is ransomware?
We mentioned “ransomware” several times exactly, but what exactly is ransomware? The word refers to dangerous software which infects a user’s PC. After that happens, you won’t be able to use your device unless you pay money, which represents the “ransom” part of the word. Ransomware doesn’t affect only individual users of a certain gadget. Small, medium and big businesses can and will experience this problem, too. Most often than not, both individual users and companies of various sizes are to blame for the ransomware attacks.
How are they to blame? Easy: people who use one device or the other don’t pay enough attention to security tips and tricks. This leads to problems such as the one discussed in this post. Hackers know how to profit from a user’s lack of know-how when it comes to protecting their gadget. Two months ago, for instance, some 200,000 organizations located in 150 countries dealt with ransomware attacks.
Malicious software can come from several sources. One of them: email attachments that have been compromised. Second source: dangerous websites. When an employee opens their email at work and clicks on a link that looks safe enough, they’ll set said ransomware in motion. The computer will be locked and the company will have to pay money to solve the problem. Phishing websites operate the same way. Individual users may want to buy something from a site that looks like the official one, but is, in fact, a copy. Once your computer’s been infected, you will lose all your precious savings.
Tips on how to protect your company
There’s good news for those of you who haven’t gone through a ransomware attack just yet. We have some tips on how to protect your company against ransomware attacks. Once you know how to do that, your business will be safe and you won’t lose all your data. Also, you won’t have to pay large sums of money to retrieve said data.
- The first step towards better security for you and your company? Make sure you instruct your employees on how to deal with email attachments that look safe, but aren’t. As previously mentioned, a ransomware attack can happen via compromised links attached to your work email. The best way to avoid having your computer infected with dangerous software is to scan every incoming and outgoing email. Another useful tip: filter all executable files before they reach an employee. Tell your employees what ransomware actually is and the many ways it propagates.
- Next, find a powerful antivirus that offers protection against ransomware. Here are some antivirus solutions you can choose from. After you find the one you like and you install it, the security solution will start a scan automatically. You can set it to do it on a regular basis in the background while you work.
- As a company, you need to create as many data backups and restore solutions as possible. This will make sure all important files are kept safe at any time. If a threat is detected, you’ll have quick access to them instead of being frustrated because you lost it all.
- Perform regular system updates on all your computers and tablets, especially if they run Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1. As of previous reports, ransomware attacks are more likely to happen if your gadget doesn’t have Windows 10.
- Remember to turn off macro scripts from office files that gent sent via work email. As a general safety rule, it’s better to stay away from full office suite applications when opening Microsoft Office files sent by email. Instead of using those applications, we recommend switching to Office Viewer. Another very good idea is to set powerful spam filters. These will make sure no phishing email arrives to your employees. Never allow administrative access to an employee unless they require one for urgent work.
- Software Restriction Policies, or SRP in short, is one of the many ways which make sure a program doesn’t execute from various ransomware places. The latter can be compression or decompression programs. Another common location: temporary folders which support an Internet browser used regularly by employees. While you’re at it, we suggest using application whitelisting and turning Remote Desktop Protocol off in case it’s never or seldom used.
Avoiding a ransomware attack is crucial in this day and age, especially if you’re a company. Businesses of all sizes experience at least several such threats over the years. You can now stay safe from malicious software if you follow our set of recommendations!