Ransomware is now one of the biggest issues in our digital lives. The threat has been perfected by cyber criminals: They hijack our data and keep it unless we are willing to pay a ransom. Often, criminals don’t even steal your data. They just lock it away from you.
These crimes were at one point limited to unsuspecting consumers but as time has gone on they have shown to be a huge threat to growing businesses. In one week in 2020 alone there were at least “31 large organizations” held ransom for millions of dollars.
These attacks used to only be strictly personal computers but as time has gone on they now target servers, networks, and in some cases the cloud.
As they become better funded and more secure in their abilities their attacks will only escalate targeting larger organizations in hopes of getting a bigger haul.
There are certain steps you can take to minimize the risk and make sure you don’t become a victim of these scammers.
- Don’t open emails or download attachments from email addresses you don’t recognize.
- Set your antivirus and malware protection to run a scan for security threats daily.
- Use a VPN to protect your location from being found out
- Make sure quarterly security assessments are done by a technician to make sure you haven’t been infected and that all of the appropriate measures are in place to keep you protected.
Today’s world can be scary, with a constantly changing environment it can make you feel like you’re never fully protected. Contact us now and ask for a free security assessment. We will help to make sure that every step possible is taken to keep you and your personal information safe and secure.
How Can You Prevent Ransomware?
1. Patch management
Systems are often only able to be exploited because Windows has not been updated. Consequently, the best way to do this is by searching for Windows Updates in Cortana but these are oftentimes set to run automatically. If it is not set up automatically you can press the Windows Key + R, type Control Panel, and under Security check the update settings. Windows will look through its update database and make sure that your computer is protected.
After updates have been installed, turn your computer off (do not just reboot). Some updates require a full-on off-cycle to install. When the computer has booted back up, repeat these steps until Windows says it is up to date.
2. Updated Antivirus
It is also important to have your antivirus definitions up to date as often as possible. Many antivirus software, you can simply right-click on the icon in your taskbar and click update from the menu. Some antivirus software is updated almost daily. A managed service provider would be able to do this process seamlessly without any action needed on your part.
3. Keep Antivirus Running
Just having your antivirus software installed is not enough. Ensure that it is running and active. Do not let your antivirus expire and always make sure that it is running the background.
4. Have a firewall protecting the network
Computers communicate through the internet using different ports. Some ports offer openings for data to transfer in, others transfer data out, and others transmit data both ways. Without getting too complicated, just make sure that your antivirus also can block vulnerabilities through the use of a firewall.
5. Backup and disaster recovery
Backing up your files into the cloud and on flash drives is a great way to protect your data. Software such as Live Drive constantly backs up your data every hour. You can also manually move the files on to a flash drive as an extra redundancy. Using both methods is the best way to protect your data. With a managed service provider however, you would have entrusted a professional to do it.
6. Email management
If you receive an email from a sender you do not recognize, do not open it! The easiest way for a virus to get into your computer is through opening an attachment. This is like opening the door for a criminal and letting them into your house. It does not matter how much protection you have, opening a suspicious email is the easiest way to let a hacker or virus on to your computer.