More and more, ransomware has emerged as a major threat to individuals and businesses alike. Ransomware, a type of malware that encrypts data on infected systems is on the rise. When the malware is run, it locks victim’s files and allows criminals to demand payment to release them.
Ransomware is a hot topic these days and it is on the rise! The number of new ransomware strains saw an increase of 62% in the previous year with the total number of identified strains at 16 million. Ransomware is difficult to protect against because, just like the flu virus, it is constantly evolving.
How is Ransomware Spread?
Email is a common method for infection, where people are tricked into downloading an e-mail attachment or clicking a link. Once the person takes action, the malware installs itself on the system and begins encrypting files. It can happen in the blink of an eye, with a single click.
Protect Against Ransomware
While small- to-mid-sized businesses aren’t specifically targeted, they may be more likely to suffer an attack. Frequently, businesses that are stretched thin rely on outdated technology. This is the perfect storm for ransomware vulnerability.
Thankfully, there are ways to protect your business. Security software is essential; however, a proper strategy requires a three-pronged approach, comprising of education, security and backup.
Education is essential to protect your business. It’s critical that staff understand what ransomware is and the threats posed. Provide your team with examples of suspicious emails and clear instructions on what to do if they encounter a potential ransomware lure.
Antivirus software is essential to protect against ransomware and other risks. Ensure your security software is up to date, to protect against newly identified threats. Keep all business applications patched and updated to minimise vulnerabilities.
Some antivirus software products offer ransomware-specific functionality. ESET, for example, offers technology that monitors systems to detect ransomware activities.
As ransomware evolves a secondary layer of defense is critical. Modern backup technology can take backups every five minutes. This means you can recover to a point-in-time before the incident. As a result, you don’t need to pay the ransom to get data back and since you are restoring to a point-in-time before the infection you can be certain everything is clean and the malware can’t be triggered again.
Knowledge spreading and security software helps avoid cyber attacks. Be certain that your software is up-to-date and secure. In the end, backup will help you pick up the pieces when all else fails, so consider using a modern backup which can permanently eliminate downtime.
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