5 Tips to Help Protect Yourself From Ransomware

Monday, June 13, 2016

Ransomware is everywhere.  Homes, Businesses, Hospitals and even Police Departments.  Cyber criminals are targeting your data and holding it hostage.  The only options: pay the ransom to regain access to your data or lose it forever.

Ransomware has been around for decades but as become more main stream in the past few years.  Lately there has been a dramatic increase. McAfee Labs researchers saw more than 4 million samples of ransomware in the second quarter of 2015 alone. Symantec reports detecting just one ransomware variant 500,000 times in a span of 18 days. It is just a matter of time until you or your business is affected.  Unfortunately, there is not a solution that can guarantee 100% protection and you must assume that something will get into your network at some point.  Risk reduction needs to be the focus.

Most ransomware/malware targets known vulnerabilities with your computers operating system and applications.  Here a few basic steps that can that can be done to help reduce the risk of getting ransomware

Patch Management – Keep your operating system patched. This should be done on a regular schedule and done immediately if a security update is released.

Keep Antivirus and other Software Updated – keep your software and applications updated.  There is a reason some updates came out frequently.  Update. Update, update….

Education On Ransomware – understand what ransom ware is, how it works and most important, what to do if you it affects you.

Pay Closer Attention To Questionable emails – spoofing emails to get you to click on an attachment or link is a popular way to initiate the process of infecting your compute.  An email address may that look legitimate, but can be a couple characters off – cbeams@infinitytechnology.com vs cbearns@infinitytechnology.com

Backup regularly – It is now more important than ever to schedule regular backups and follow the 3-2-1 rules. – 3 copies of your data in 2 different location with 1 offsite.  Backup date may be your only path to recovering your data.  It is also a good idea to test your backups to assure quality data.

If you think your computer may be infected, the best action is to disconnect it from the Internet and network connection and notify your network support team.  The more time the malware has to work, the more damage that could be done.  

And remember, that online ad for a great deal on a trip to Jamaica, might just be your ticket to losing access to your data.