Educate, educate, educate!
Educating users on the issue and how to avoid the malware threat by showing the users what to look out for is paramount to complete protection.
EMAIL USERS SHOULD:
- Avoid opening any emails and email attachments from unknown sources.
- Question every email that comes in, never assume an email is genuine.
- Be mindful that an email may appear to be from an organisation, but is in fact not – many big brands have been ‘spoofed’ and use logos and text layout very similar to the real emails sent by Fedex, Banks, Royal Mail; as well as smaller brands that you may well have done business with.
- If an email is from an unknown source or looks a little different to what you expect – hover your mouse over the links in the email (Do not click the link!). The URL (web address) will display in the bottom left hand corner of your email application, this is often the giveaway as it will want to take you to a peculiar web address destined to download the ransomware threat.
- Often the email looks like it has been sent by an email address within your business like firstname.lastname@example.org; scanner@ yourbusiness.com; accounts@ yourbusiness.com; or similar, again hover over the links and discover the real link and source.
- Ensure all the computers have the most up to date antivirus versions and updates.
How do you know if you have been effected by ransomware?
If the ransomware is made the users will see a pop up on their machine that informs them their data has been encrypted.
The user will be asked to make the payment, and pressuring the end user with a time limit.
When the user tries to open an Office document an error message that will appear saying it cannot open due to problems with content/data.
If you do have an up to date virus protection suite you will also see the Threat has been quarantined.
The alternative to standard protection is to introduce additional email protection offered by organisations such as Mimecast where a suspect email can be ‘sandboxed’ and a safe to view transcript can be sent to the user to check if the message is genuine or not.
However, the most important action to take is to educate the users about the issue and this will save time and losses of data, and eventually profits in dealing with this malicious software threat.
Of course most data breaches are completely accidental but they can be avoided. Being vigilant and aware that there are organisations that want to obtain confi dential data or cause financial losses to companies through malware is the first step to defence.
If you are concerned about your network or you feel you may have been effected by any of these threats feel free to contact us.