Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts a user’s files. The hacker will then demand payment, usually in the form of crypto to restore access to the users’ data. Ransomware attacks can be disastrous for businesses. Here are some easy things you can do to stop ransomware attacks from destroying your business.
Updates, updates, updates!
You and your team should schedule regular updates for both hardware and software. Hackers love to take advantage of out-of-date devices.
All the software you use to keep your business running should be kept up-to-date. Software companies regularly update their software with bug fixes and security patches.
Operating system updates should be monitored, make sure the software you use is compatible first.
A Wi-Fi router’s or printer’s firmware may need to be manually updated. Work with your IT team to schedule these updates after hours. A major firmware update during the day could slow down production.
And if an update causes a problem, overnight updating allows time to roll back any changes.
Your business should have solid backups of your important data.
If a hacker has a stronghold, you might be unable to stop ransomware attacks. The best alternative is to start from scratch.
If there’s an attack, you can restore all files from the latest backup.
A full backup is a complete copy of all data. An incremental backup only backs up files that have been changed. They are a lot faster and require less storage. Work with your IT team to pick the best strategy.
And if possible, store a copy of your backups offline. Backups compromised by a ransomware attack are basically useless.
You’ll need to decide as a business owner who needs access to what.
Does a secretary need admin privileges? Does the IT dept need to see HR’s files?
Setting up proper access control prevents employees from accidentally compromising data.
Also, check the software you install. Do not give programs or apps any access that isn’t necessary for them to function properly.
It’s also important to train your staff on what they have access to. Work with your IT team to develop cybersecurity training sessions. Establish clear policies on dealing with handling equipment, or how passwords are shared.
A solid antivirus program is a big boost to stop ransomware attacks.
Your antivirus must be on lookout duty 24/7 scanning for threats. It should scan every portion of your computer looking for compromised data, and remove them! Some antivirus clients only scan.
And since most of these threats will come via the internet – web browsing protection is a must.
Since it will most likely run in your computer’s background, your antivirus needs to be light on resources.
Keep in mind there are a lot of processes, apps, and files on your devices to scan, but these scans need to be effective and efficient.
And antivirus clients shouldn’t be clunky either. They need to be easy to use. It’s nice to have software with bells and whistles, but if it’s too complex to use it’s a nuisance.
Keep Your Money!
Do not under any circumstance, pay the ransom!
Even if you pay, hackers still might only give you some of your files back. Most likely, they will try to strong-arm you for another payment.
You are much better off restoring from a backup.
If the ransomware is only isolated to one computer, wipe it and start from scratch.
Keep your systems up to date regularly. Have your IT team schedule this automatically so it doesn’t affect business hours.
Perform periodic backups of your files. This should automated as well.
Limit who needs full access to your business data and sensitive information.
A strong antivirus client should be a top priority. It should regularly run scans and update if new threats arise.
And last but not least, keep your crypto in your wallet! Do NOT pay the ransom!