RANSOMWARE IS CHANGING – PROTECT YOURSELF
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand for the last six months you’ll know what ransomware is.
For those who are in the dark, ransomware is a virus that infects PC’s and Servers causing all your data to become encrypted.
There are two types of ransomware, these processes cannot be reversed and render all your data useless.
The first is Encrypting ransomware, which is designed to block system files and demand payment to provide the victim with the key that can decrypt the blocked content.
The second type is Locker ransomware, which locks you out of the operating system, making it impossible to access the desktop or any apps or files. The files are not encrypted in this case, but the attackers still ask for a ransom to unlock the infected computer.
Businesses are forced to pay a ransom of £500 – £5000 and there is nothing anyone can do to ‘FIX IT’.
Most worryingly Anti-Virus technologies are not guaranteed to detect or prevent the devastation.
These attacks have been happening for several months, the most famous of which attacked the NHS resulting in anarchy.
How do I protect myself?
The good news is by having a good backup is total protection. If your files are encrypted you can simply delete the infected files and restore them from the backup.
I’ve got a backup, why should I worry?
Up until recently, if you we’re infected it didn’t take long to notice. You would try and access files and they wouldn’t work. Recently however, the hackers have realised that many people’s backups have a 30-day window so have been letting the virus lay dormant for 31 days. After the 31 days (when many people’s backups have overwritten) the virus becomes active and data is lost.
So, what can I do now?
Again, it’s a simple fix and all Everything Tech customers are protected. Your backup should have a 12-month recovery window at least. This means that you should be able to restore a file at any time within a 12-month Window.
Other ways to protect yourself
There are many other ways of protecting yourself from ransomware attacks such as;
Being suspicious of Emails, Websites and Apps. Hackers must download harmful software onto your PC which is then launched and encrypts files. The most popular way software is downloaded onto your devices is through spam emails asking for personal information and poisoned adverts on websites.
To protect yourself from being attacked via this way you should always be cautious when opening unprompted emails on your devices and visiting unknown websites as you don’t know what they could contain.
Another way of protecting you PC’s and servers is simply by making sure you keep your systems up to date, download the newest version of your software as soon as it is available. These software updates are released to fix vulnerabilities that can be exploited to install ransomware. If you are an Everything Tech customer we do automatically keep your systems up to date for you.
You can also protect yourself from falling victim by ensuring that ALL your staff have training on protecting themselves against malware attacks. Everyone is vulnerable to being hacked, by training your staff on identifying possible malware attacks you are preventing the attack from ever happening.
A final way to protect yourself is by running regular risk assessments; the aim of a risk assessment is to identify any internal and external threats on your PC’s or servers. When the risk assessment is done it sorts through the data and highlights the risks and identifies what the best plan is to reduce them. By having risk assessments, they help you to identify the trouble spots and decide on how to prevent these issues from harming you and your business further.