What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a well known malicious software that is designed to prevent a victim from accessing their data, in exchange for a monetary extortion value. To put simply, it locks and encrypts a victim’s data, then will demand a ransom to restore access. In many cases, the victim must pay the cyber-criminal within a set amount of time or risk losing access forever.
Victims can range from everyday people to Fortune 500 businesses. In 2017, the average ransom demand for an individual user was US$522. Keep in mind, just because a victim pays a ransom, doesn’t guarantee that the malicious software is removed from their computer. In most cases, after paying the ransom, the virus will enable again soon after.
For businesses around the world, the stakes are even higher. The massive WanaCryt0r outbreak was the largest ransomware attack in the history of the Internet, freezing hospital workers out of critical data and disrupting operations of organizations in 150 countries. Following up, NotPetya and BadRabbit made 2017 the year of ransomware.
These types of attacks can have a devastating impact, from losing precious personal data to shutting down hospital services in the middle of emergency procedures. In some cases, it’s a matter of life or death. That’s why it’s so important to prevent ransomware attacks from happening in the first place.
Secure & Prevent
The first line of defense against Ransomware is Security software. Make the investment into a solid program that has modern features such as, real-time protection, auto-definition updates, and shielding capabilities to vulnerable programs. Anti-exploit technology will block ransomware from holding your files hostage. Malwarebytes, CloudStrike, and BitDefender are all suites that Brown IT prefers to install on client machines.
For businesses, they are often targeted by a cyber criminal enterprise consisting of diligent attackers. These attacks are planned months in advance, even the best security software can be thwarted. In this case, you’ll need to create secure backups of your data on a regular basis. Use external drives where you can save backup files and move them to an offline state by physically disconnecting devices. Cloud storage can be utilized as well but, we recommend using a server with high-level encryption and MFA.
Work with a 3rd party IT provider or hire a network administrator to segment network access. This will limit the data an attacker can access. Utilizing modern networking protocols like VLANs and monitoring, you can help ensure that your entire network security is not compromised in a single attack. Separate your network into distinct zones.
Contact Brown IT Solutions
When in doubt, Brown IT Solutions is here to assist your business through Cyber Security options. Our engineers are certified cyber-security experts that have vast experience with all forms of malicious software. Contact us today for a free security evaluation.