There is ONLY ONE Sure Defense Against Ransomware
The ONLY ONE sure defense against ransomeware is to have a complete site backup.
The whole point of ransomware is to encrypt your data to hold it ransom. Pay them and they send you a key to unlock it, maybe. Some people have paid to never receive a key.
The ransomware itself can be a very sophisticated computer virus. Since they want to encrypt all your data, they write this type of malware to seek out and encrypt all your in-house backups too. A normal ransomware attack will have encrypted the local data on the workstation and all the data on the server it has access to. Once in on your network, ransomware will install itself to all other computers on that network including the servers. On those servers it will encrypt all different types of backups along with the external hard drives or network attached storage you are using to place the backups.
Of course, the best scenario is to never have ransomware get in to your network at all. But do not underestimate the skill and persistence of those who are spending their time figuring out new ways to get their malicious software running on your equipment.
So, have your data being backed up to off site and never pay anyone.
That said, there is a lot a small office can do to protect itself. Many of these things are very basic.
First and foremost, keep your security software and Windows updated. New exploits are discovered on a regular basis by the hackers and new fixes are published every day by Microsoft and others.
Run those security updates! Run them on your workstation and run them on your server. Make sure you include security updates for products like Outlook. The sooner you run them, the sooner those vulnerabilities are dealt with. The hackers are working all the time and so should your security.
If you have Windows 7 running, either upgrade the operating system or replace the computer. What Microsoft means by “having withdrawn support” for Windows 7 is that those computers no longer get security updates. Any and all retired versions of Windows are accidents waiting to happen.
Be smart about remote access. Since so many of us have been working from home, the ransomware has increased. If you can move your email, and maybe data, to the cloud in Office 365 or Google, do so soon. These services are reliable.
And make sure that every office computer has antivirus/malware protection that will scan a thumb drive as it is put into a workstation. This is still how a lot of virus get on network computers.
Finally, if your router does not have some kind of intrusion detection that automatically updates, then it is time to upgrade to one that does.
Locking down the router and network access, keeping up with the updates, and setting up anti virus along with anti malware software SHOULD keep most of us safe. “Should” is not good enough. That off-site backup means that you WILL have a way to recover if disaster strikes. Overnight is good enough for many offices. More often than that is required for some others. How often is a business decision.
So, lock it down and back it up and go back to work.
Let East Bay Computer Services assist your business with getting your off-site backup UP and RUNNING today.
Contact Us TODAY!
Our 24 HR answering service messages are emailed directly to the manager. If this is urgent, call the manager directly at (510) 290-1200