More businesses are falling victim to ransomware attacks on their computers. This happens when hackers install malware (malicious software such as “cryptolocker) which renders the data inaccessible.
The hackers usually demand a payment to restore the data, and many businesses end up paying the ransom, rather than suffering a data loss which would seriously impact their business.
While there is no guaranteed method of preventing such a hacking event, here are a few steps which can minimise the impact on your business.
- Antivirus: Ensure you have an enterprise standard antivirus software package on all your PCs and servers. While free versions exist, we would advise against these, as they lack key protection elements.
- Hardware: Computers running outdated software, such as Windows XP, or Small Business Server 2003, are more vulnerable to attack, as this software no longer receives security patch updates from Microsoft. Always ensure your hardware runs supported Operating systems, such as Windows 7/10, or Small Business Server 2012.
- Data Storage: Important data should not be stored on individual computers, but to a shared folder on an onsite server, storage network, or cloud backup.
- Backup: Your onsite server or network storage should be backed up to a secure offsite backup, e.g. cloud, on a daily basis.
- Vigilance: All computer users in your business should be aware of the dangers of clicking unknown/untrusted links, or downloading potentially harmful software. The golden rule is not to open ANY email links/attachments unless you are expecting them from specific people. Ideally, downloading software would only be permitted by your system administrator, who can ascertain any potential risks beforehand.
In the unlikely event that you follow these steps and are still a recipient of a cryptolocker virus, the impact will be far less severe, as your critical data would still be securely stored remotely, preventing any serious financial impact on your business.
Prevos Solutions are experts on securing your IT infrastructure. For a free IT security audit, please call us today at 091 395413.