Ransomware is a type of malware that will encrypt your files, actually hold your data hostage, until you pay a ransom. When the malware’s demands are met, your files are yours again. Sounds crazy, but this type of malware is becoming a favorite of cybercriminals, and it is becoming a major threat to both personal and company computers.
Cybercriminals love ransomware because it is so lucrative; they can charge you anything they want to get your data back. Organization of all types, and all sizes, have been hit by this malware, but it is extremely troubling for small businesses. These smaller companies typically don’t have the right protection or backup, and they don’t have as much money to lose on things like this.
We should all be worried about these attacks, and should take steps to protect our businesses now. Here are some best practices to keep your data safe:
- Educate your staff. You and your staff need to know everything you can about ransomware and its dangers. Education is power, and it can protect you from malware. Make sure your entire staff understand what ransomware is, and the dangers it comes with. Show them what suspicious emails might look like, and what to do if they encounter one (for example, don’t open attachments, report suspicious emails to your tech department immediately). Provide updated training often, and make sure that whenever a new employee joins your team, they are trained on best practices.
- Cyber Security: Antivirus software is an essential tool for any business. Make sure your security software is current, and make sure to update often. Look for antivirus software that is specific to ransomware. This type of technology will regularly monitor your systems to look for malicious activity. If it detects ransomware, it will block it and alert you right away.
- Backup: Cybercriminals know antivirus software is available, so they are always changing and updating their malware. This means that even the best technology can be breached. This is why you need to have a second layer of defense in place. Total data protections solutions, like Datto, are excellent for this. They take incremental backup snapshots every few minutes so that you always have a recovery point. In the case of a ransomware attack, this would allow you to roll back your data to a point in time before the attack occurred.
This means you won’t have to pay the ransom, and it means your data is clean, and the malware won’t be triggered again.
Some of these total data protection solutions actually allow you to run your applications from virtual machines, providing for ‘instant recovery.’ This technology is especially helpful if you are infected by ransomware, because it allows you to carry on with your operations while your primary systems are being restored.
Ransomware can really take a toll on a company, if you are not prepared. Following these best practices will keep you, and your staff, in the know and ahead of any threats. PACE Technical Services is the trusted choice when it comes to staying ahead of the latest information technology tips, tricks, and news. Contact us at 905.763.7896 Ext. 214 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.