Stay safe from ransomware with these tips

Stay safe from ransomware with these tips

One day, an employee was working at his workstation when the screen went blank for a second, and this message appeared: “Your hard drive has been encrypted. You have 24 hours to pay $500 or your data will be destroyed.” What followed was a set of instructions to visit a specific website and pay the amount via an untraceable currency, accompanied by an ominous countdown.

This is a common example of a computer that has been infected by ransomware. It is a security threat to businesses and people alike, and managed services providers (MSPs) like Complete Technology predict that the situation may become worse in the future.

One reason why this form of malware is popular is that it takes advantage of an enterprise's dependence on data. Hackers can rake in millions of dollars each year by threatening to encrypt or wipe out valuable data if their demands are not met.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts data, preventing the victim from accessing it until the cybercriminal is paid. Your IT support staff should constantly be on the lookout for this threat, because it continues to evolve, spread, and grow in complexity.

Although prevention is enough to keep you safe in most cases, no security system is perfect. This is why your company should partner with an MSP to create a recovery plan that will prepare you for anything. Here are some tips that will help your business stay safe from ransomware attacks, identify them if your defenses fail, and quickly recover from them with minimal interruptions.

Security awareness training

Ransomware often invades a network through “phishing,” whereby hackers trick victims into opening an email attachment or something similar. If an employee opens this message, the ransomware gets a chance to infiltrate the surrounding systems.

Have your IT department and MSP launch security awareness training sessions that drill employees to remain vigilant against suspicious messages, links, and attachments.

Configuration, patches, and updates

Proper cybersecurity hygiene is crucial in keeping ransomware and other threats at bay. Hackers will usually look for misconfigurations or outdated software to gain access to your devices.

Make sure that your machines and systems are regularly updated with security patches. Disable any features that you don't need and don't use default configurations on your systems. All these best practices ensure that cyber criminals will have a difficult time entering your system.

Log analysis and monitoring

Hackers will always leave traces of their activity in your network if a ransomware attack is successful. Ask your MSP about using Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) applications that can scan activity, software, and system logs to analyze and collate data for flagging unusual behavior later on. Once this is done, they should apply User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) to find out if your device(s) or network is acting out of the ordinary.

Dependable backup and recovery

Even if your IT staff uses every precaution and method to keep malware and ransomware away from your network, there may be times when your defenses malfunction. If this happens, you can lessen the impact on your enterprise by maintaining a clear recovery plan and secure backup system that lets you immediately restore all data if necessary.

Have an MSP secure your network ASAP

As zero-day attacks and ransomware continue to grow and spread, it's crucial for security professionals to be aware of the risks they pose. Businesses and MSPs should take the right steps to identify, avoid, and bounce back from ransomware so they can significantly lower their potential impact.

Talk to the experts at Complete Technology so we can help your company stay safe from ransomware and other cyberthreats. Our company redefines IT services for customers in Kansas City by letting them focus on their business, and not on IT distractions. Give us a call today and we’ll give you a free consultation to help you make the best business decision for your company.

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