School districts, government agencies and utility companies are just some of the businesses making the headlines as the latest victims of ransomware, a malware that encrypts your files and limits or eliminates access. Victims are then forced to pay a ransom to regain access.
The inability to access important data and the loss of confidential or proprietary information can have a crippling effect on companies. But it’s not just businesses that are being targeted – home computers are also at risk. The loss of personal information, family photos, video and other information can be devastating.
What to look for:
Email attachments containing malware are often the culprit, but not always. Your computer could become infected simply by clicking on a compromised website, often being lured there by a phishing attempt.
How to protect yourself:
- Keep regular backups of your data, because without a backup, there is nothing to recover if your files become encrypted.
- Do not open suspect email attachments, even if you know the sender. Email accounts can get spoofed and attachments will look odd with references to attached resumes, tracking numbers, payroll information, photos, etc.
- Ensure your anti-virus software is enabled and up-to-date.
- Only download software from official sites you know and trust.
- Use the same precautions on your mobile phone as you would on your computer when using the Internet.
How to protect your company network:
- Raise awareness of ransomware and safe practices to protect the organization’s data.
- Provide corporate training for employees to help identify potential phishing attempts.
- Back up data and verify the integrity of your backups regularly.
- Patch operating system, software and firmware on digital devices.
- Ensure antivirus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and conduct regular scans.
- Set access controls and network share permissions appropriately.
- Implement controls or software restriction policies to prevent programs from executing from common ransomware locations.
DataVizion provides a VizionVault Cloud Backup Service. This service provides daily backups of your files, which can be restored to safe versions if files have been encrypted. We also provide managed cloud-based antivirus, and robust firewall solutions for threat prevention. Questions or want to learn more? Give us a call.