April 6th, 2017 by adminRansomware has rapidly grown into one of the largest cyber-security threats for businesses. Ransomware is a specific kind of malware that will encrypt or seize control of data files and not release them until a ransom has been paid. According to CNN, over 209 million dollars were paid to ransomware criminals during the first quarter of 2016. According to the Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2016, businesses are being attacked every 40 seconds by ransomware and 20% of small and medium businesses that paid the ransom amount never regained control of their data. Ransomware has become a huge security threat and is continuing to grow at alarming rates. In our experience, nine times out of ten the cause behind ransomware is a user unknowingly clicking on a phishing link.
Gone PhishingAt Equinox IT Services, our specialties are preventive measurements that stop issues from ever happening in the first place. That being said, we believe that training your users what NOT to click is the best security against ransomware and phishing scams. Of course, no one is perfect, and in the case of an error, we recommend having secure backups as the best possible reactive response.
Are You Prepared?Ransomware can be a devastating blow to your business. We can help you prepare for the worst. Make sure to take the following steps to strengthen your defenses:
- Train Your Employees: Your strongest defense is to ensure your team knows how to correctly spot and avoid phishing emails. Continually educate your users on the dangers of suspicious websites, encourage them to report suspicious emails, and have them take this 5 minute quiz which will help them learn how to spot phishing links.
- Backups: Let’s walk through it. If your network gets ransomware and you don’t have reliable backups then your world gets flipped into chaos. What data did you lose? Should you pay the money? If you do pay, will you even get your data back? However, if you get ransomware and DO have reliable backups, then you wipe the infected device and restore your backups. Problem solved. Another great reason to (1) make sure you have backups and (2) test them regularly.
- Patch Management: Don’t click “ignore” on all of your updates just because they can be annoying. All devices should be consistently updated for optimal safety. When your devices are out of date malware can make its way through the cracks. Patching provides an extra level of security that will fight off known weaknesses.
- Endpoint security: Ensure that mobile devices, employee laptops, PC’s and ANYTHING connected to your network is protected with endpoint security. You’ll want security tools that not only prevent known viruses, but also phishing threats, malware, and suspicious code. If an endpoint does become infected with ransomware disconnect it from the network ASAP to prevent the threat from spreading.
- Limit What Is Allowed Into Your Network: Web Filters and Geo-Filtering can help you limit and control what is allowed into your network. Web Filters will prevent users from accessing dangerous sites. Geo-Filtering allows you to block connections from specific countries or geographical regions. Both of these options decrease the possibility of ransomware reaching you.