Ransomware certainly still remains a popular means of cyber attack and new ransomware strains are discovered each year.
Ransomware is a form of malicious software, it is designed to encrypt a businesses data and then demand a ransom to restore it.
Despite a drop since its peak in 2017, Ransomware is very much still a threat to businesses and therefore businesses should continue to take this threat seriously and still be taking precautions and have protection in place to help protect their business.
Prevent Ransomware with good security practices
You can minimise the risk of being affected by ransomware by taking precautions to guard against it:
- Protect your business against phishing attacks – Phishing works by sending out emails that require a response either by clicking on a link, opening an attachment or providing some information. Cyber criminals make these emails look very convincing and therefore people’s natural reaction is to do as it ask.
To help protect your businesses against this sort of threat we offer solutions from VIPRE that protect your network from malicious links in email. It will scan your emails for any URLs in the moment you click on it and if it is found to be malicious it will either block the site or throw up a warning that it could be harmful.
In addition to this making sure your staff are fully trained on what to look out for when it comes to phishing attacks can help staff recognise when an email is a phishing attack.
- Patching – Some ransomware can gain control by exploiting software vulnerabilities in operating systems, web browsers, browser plug-ins or applications. Deploying patches from the software manufacturers will help to mitigate this issue. As well as this you should always make sure equipment like routers, firewalls are patched as these also provide a route in for hackers if they are not kept up to date.
- Filter web browsing traffic – you can use a security appliance or service to proxy your outgoing web browsing traffic. Filter attempted connections based on categories or reputation of the sites your users are trying to visit.
- Control removable media – this includes the likes of external hard drives or USB sticks and by not allowing staff to use them will help to prevent ransomware from being bought into the business via this method.
What impact can Ransomware have on your business?
Ransomware will prevent access to your systems and data until a solution is found. This can be incredibly damaging to businesses as you are unable to run your business and it can take quite some time to restore normal operations. This can damage your reputation and have massive financial and safety impacts.
How to limit the impact of a ransomware attack?
- Access Control – compartmentalisation of your network can help to limit the extent of an attack to just the affected user rather than the entire network. Re-evaluate permissions on shared network drives regularly to prevent the spreading of ransomware to mapped and unmapped drives. Do not allow users to have admin rights on their machine. System administrators with high levels of access should avoid using their admin accounts for email and web browsing.
- Backups – Having a robust backup solution in place is crucial to ensuring that your business can recover from a ransomware attack. However, its worthwhile noting that backups should not be the only protection you have against ransomware.
If you have any concerns about Ransomware or you would like information on the solutions that can help to prevent a ransomware attack please get in touch with our IT security specialists on 01392 824 022 or email@example.com.