The topic on everybody’s lips these days is ransomware, ransomware, ransomware. And rightly so due to the number of attacks that are continually being reported. Here at backup systems, we find it worrying that so many organisations are not fully armed and prepared for the worst case scenario to guarantee their safety during the event of an attack.
So let’s start by briefly going through our top 8 expert tips to protect yourself from ransomware, or if you would rather we have compiled all these tips into a helpful infographic which you can view here.
1. Don’t think you’re invisible - or invincible
The rise of the cybercriminal means nobody is safe. So long as their pockets have the potential to be lined they have enough ammunition to attack your organisation. So please do not be naïve and think that just because you only have a handful of employees that attackers will render you unworthy- because you cannot guarantee that. So start protecting yourself against ransomware today with the appropriate defensive and preventative measures.
2. Install cyber security measures; your antivirus is your best friend
Have security measures in place to fight oncoming malicious software and ensure that this level of protection is always up-to-date. Without it, you have increased the attackers opportunity. This will include areas such as establishing secuity roles and access rights, installing antivirus software and firewalls etc. These measures must cover every device, and all your systems and networks to ensure enterprise-wide protection. Having advanced cyber security measures can help to detect an attackers presence and potentially has the power to deter them from holding you to ransom.
3. Educate your users and your staff – including your remote workforce
It’s not safe to assume that your employees on the ground are equipped with the necessary knowledge surrounding IT cyber security. It is your responsibility to educate every single individual who is involved with your organisation, whether they work within your office buildings, remotely, or freelance- if they have access to your systems then they must be trained on the security policies, standards, and procedures.
You must teach them to become more security conscious as their actions can directly threaten your organisation and can even unknowingly help attackers enter your networks.
4. Beware of phishing
Phising emails are extremely dangerous as they often appear to have come from a trusted, reputable source which can throw off the scent to an untrained eye. Your employees must have the capability to identify phishing emails to stop attackers from entering your network. Formalised procedures should be in place for employees to report if they see any form of suspicious activity to track how often illegitimate activity is being sent to your employees, and if it is being detected by them.
5. Keep up to date with your system updates
We understand that it is all too tempting to click on the ‘update later’ button and carry on with your work, but this is the exact reason why attacks like WannaCry happen in the first instance. If your systems are not kept updated then they remain vulnerable to incoming attacks. So why would you bother risking it? Take the necessary time to keep them updated and ensure your employees are getting into the habit of updating everything. This good habit could just save you from coming under attack so don't get complacent.
6. Detect concealed threats
You should be investing in network monitoring and scanning software to flag up any foreign bodies or any inconsistencies in your systems. These could be threats just sitting waiting for the perfect moment to strike; therefore every business requires software that can detect and remove these threats as soon as possible.
7. Develop an emergency protocol
What is your step-by-step procedure in the event of a ransomware attack? What immediate actions are required and who is to action them? Similar to that of a fire safety drill, every organisation, regardless of size and industry, needs an emergency protocol to minimise the potential damage during an attack. This should involve different members of staff from multiple departments and MUST be tested on a regular basis to guarantee accuracy and speed.
8. Outsource your Backup Solution
Most, if not all, organisations would agree that their data is the backbone of their business, and without it they would be going nowhere. Imagine years upon years of hardwork just be wiped away in a nano second. That's what you could be facing if you do not put a conscious effort into backing up all your data. Even better, outsource your backup solution to an expert to give you peace of mind that in the event of ransomware attack you can simply turn to the backed up files and carry on. At the end of the day, if you do not back up your files then you do not have protection against ransomware.
To avoid becoming the next headline in the news, follow these 8 tips to prevent your organisation from becoming another victim to ransomware.