WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT?
We have all heard about the recent world wide ransomware attack that caused havoc by locking up 200,000 computers and networks in 120 countries.
However, even before this latest attack, a survey by the Australian Institute of Company Directors revealed that more than 20 per cent of senior executives and Board members lost sleep at night worrying about cyber security.
These recent events have shown this threat is real – particularly if you have not been vigilant in protecting your business from these types of malicious viruses.
The latest worldwide ransomware attack involved taking company files and applications by encrypting them and demanding payment to unencrypt and restore access to files and applications.
Cyber experts said the health service appeared particularly susceptible to attack because many were using obsolete systems, while others had failed to apply recent security updates which would have protected them.
Most malicious programs rely on humans to spread by tricking them into clicking on an attachment, usually sent in an innocent looking email, that harbours the attack code.
While it is NOT recommended to pay the ransom, it is usually impossible to decrypt these files. The process involves removing the offending virus and restoring your valuable data from backup.
WHAT IS RANSOMWARE?
Ransomware gains access to a computer the same way as any kind of virus or computer worm - either through getting you to open an infected email, when you navigate to a compromised website or during the installation of an infected program.
Once inside a computer it can work in a several different ways. One of these is to bombard you with adverts, indecent images or bogus warnings asking you to pay to have them removed.
Alternatively, it can lock users out of one or more parts of their PC until they pay to have access restored. Sometimes it does this by mimicking an official warning from a government agency or police force.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS FROM RANSOMWARE
You should adhere to best practice security to protect your network from being infected.
The greatest damage people suffer from a ransomware attack is the loss of files, including pictures and documents.
The best protection against ransomware is to securely back up all the information and files on your devices.
A good place to do this is on a secure cloud platform or an external hard drive that isn't connected to the internet. This means that if you suffer an attack you won't lose any information to the hackers.
For ransomware to work, hackers need to download malicious software onto a victim’s computer. This is then used to launch the attack and encrypt files.
As the most common way for the software to be installed on a victim's device is through phishing emails, malicious adverts on websites and questionable apps and programs, you should always exercise caution when opening unsolicited emails or visiting unfamiliar websites and never download an app that hasn't been verified by an official store and read reviews before installing programs.
Use an antivirus program
An age-old computer security tip, antivirus programs can stop ransomware from being downloaded onto computers and can find it when it is.
Most antivirus programs can scan files to see if they might contain ransomware before downloading them. They can block secret installations from malicious adverts when you're browsing the web and look for malware that may already be on a computer or device.
Always install updates
Companies often release software updates to fix vulnerabilities that can be exploited to install ransomware. It is therefore advisable to always download the newest version of a software as soon as it is available.
Never pay the ransom
Victims of ransomware attacks are advised to never pay the fee as it encourages attackers and may not result in files being recovered.
For further reading on Cyber Security and How real is the Cyber Security Issue,What Part Does Policy Play and What the next steps are for small businesses to take, we recommend reviewing the Cyber Security presentation
CALL MICROSOLVE TODAY ON 1300 792 492 TO ENSURE YOU ARE SAFEGUARDED FROM THESE DANGEROUS MALWARES THAT POTENTIALLY COULD DESTROY YOUR BUSINESS