At some point, we’re pretty sure you’ve heard of ransomware in the office, read it in the news, or maybe you’ve seen a pop-up in your browser. Ever wondered what the fuss is about? If you’re curious about this form of a cyber attack, read on and we’ll tell you more about it.
First off, what exactly is ransomware? Basically, ransomware is a form of malware that locks the user out of their files or their device, then demands an anonymous online payment to restore access.
Ransomware can be traced back to 1989 when the “AIDS virus” was used to extort funds from recipients of the ransomware. Payments for that attack were made by mail to Panama, at which point a decryption key was also mailed back to the user.
This type of malware has attacked organizations in nearly every industry over time and caused terrible business losses.
Now that you know something about ransomware and its roots, how do you prevent and detect it?
We’ve listed some useful tips on how you could spare your business from this malicious cyber attack.
1. Proactively monitor your server, network, and back up key systems.
Installing monitoring tools can detect unusual file access activities, viruses, network command, and control traffic and CPU loads within your network. Safekeeping a copy of crucial systems can reduce the risk of a crashed or encrypted machine that can cause crucial operational mishaps.
2. Keep your operating system patched and up to date.
If the software across your network is up to date, then exploit-based ransomware attacks can’t penetrate through it. If your business runs on outdated or obsolete software, then you could be at risk for ransomware. This is because the software your using isn’t getting the necessary security updates anymore.
3. Educate your end-users about malicious spam and creating strong passwords.
Ransomware also relies on spam to infect an end-user, and potentially access your network. Once on your network, this malware can spread from system to system, using a list of common passwords. By learning how to spot spam initially, and implementing multi-factor authentication, your business can stay one step ahead of these cybercriminals.
4. Invest on dependable cybersecurity technology.
By doing so, threats can be found faster, saving you IT time and money through reliable automated incident response. Sophos, for example, ensures your endpoint protection and firewall are talking to each other. It’s a simple yet effective idea that means you get better protection against advanced threats and spend less time responding to incidents.
Ransomware criminals make a living by preying on the ignorant. With new ransomware types surfacing frequently, as a business owner, you want to minimize your exposure to these threats, by all means possible.
By following these useful tips, you can help protect your personal and business data from ransomware attacks.