The Reality of Risk of Ransomware
Malware that encrypts data and then demands a financial payment for its release is more than simply a headache and can not be solved by “turning it off & on again”. For both businesses and individuals there is far more at risk than just data, so how can we avoid ransomware attacks & breaches in IT Systems’ security?
For a company, the windfall damage can be severe and can cripple your commerce growth. Your business stands to lose profit, irreplaceable records, cash, client confidence, productivity and more.
For individuals everything from important tax records, access to communication mediums, and irreplaceable memories or photographs can be lost.
Even if you do pony up the cash to pay the ransom for your data, you have no guarantee of the cyber criminals actually honouring their side of the terms set!
Don’t wait until it is too late; take steps today to protect your personal devices as well as the business that you have worked diligently to build!
It is impossible to eliminate the chance of being hit by Ransomware completely but these tips will go a long way in making sure you minimize the risk the best you can.
Avoid Ransomware with these IT Best Practices:
Preparation: Be Informed
Education and awareness of security threats and responsible online activity are excellent places to begin in the quest to prevent Ransomware.
- Take time to educate yourself! Futhermore, ensure that it is not just you that are in the know but that your whole family or employee team is too!
- Be alert and on the lookout for phishing campaigns and other common scams.
- Create a family and/or company culture that affirms those who seek help and ask questions if unsure. Steer clear of contributing to an environment in which an individual might be ridiculed for making a mistake or ‘falling for it’ as this may just result in broken communication channels and problems not being addressed.
Precaution: Exercise safe online practices
Be knowledgeable regarding the ways in which Ransomware gains access. If you suspect that your computer has been compromised immediately disconnect from the network and the internet in an attempt to minimize damage.
Avoid Ransomware & these unsafe activities online:
- Browsing dodgy websites
- Avoid opening unsolicited emails from addresses not on your contact list
- Clicking on flashing sidebar advertising
Adjust these basic settings to lower the risk of being hit by Ransomware:
- Do not allow pop-ups to open in your browser
- Require authorization before files are downloaded
- Employ a content filter to protect your email
Planning: Employ Safeguards to Minimize Risk
The reality is that Ransomware attacks are on the increase in South Africa as in the rest of the world. You should plan before a crisis happens!
Implement the following safeguards to help avoid Ransomware:
- Using a firewall
- Keeping up-to-date anti-virus software
- Employing the latest available versions of software
- Restrict downloading content unless from a trusted and safe provider
Prevention: Behind the Scenes Backup
Once Ransomware gets through, it can access anything on your desktop or within the network that you are connected too. Take Data Backup’s seriously before malware hits! Take a closer look into how you are storing your files and data and how often secure backups are being made. If you are unsure as to how to evaluate you Backup System, know that we offer free assessments.
If you think that using one backup or cloud storage (i.e. Dropbox/Google Cloud) that syncs to your computer is adequate protection, think again. Did you know that if you stay permanently signed in to your personal online cloud backup App, that Ransomware can hold your storage there hostage too!
Would your current system backup be sufficient to restore your data if Ransomware struck right now?
Practice these smart backup tips
- Treat your data like gold
- Always have at least two comprehensive uncorrupted complete backups
- Be consistent and backup regularly such that data is up-to-date!
- If you are using external disks for backup, ensure they are removed from your devices i.e Do not leave them plugged in.
- Avoid using apps for online cloud storage.
- Do not allow cloud storage to auto sync and always log out of cloud profiles.
- Create and work from a computer profile that does not have administrator access to your daily tasks
Ultimate Protection: Employ cyber security professionals
The best way to ensure you never have to pay the high cost that Ransomware demands is to employ top notch cyber security professionals. Planning ahead will keep you unscathed so you, your budget, and your clients don’t feel the heat from a cyber attack.
System 5 Security Solutions
We offer bespoke, scalable solutions to deal with the latest and most sophisticated security concerns. System 5’s tech team can have your system back up and online, fast. In fact, our slowest offering guarantee’s your business to back online within 24 hours.