Ransomware, a malicious software program often found in organizational and personal computers, has cost businesses, organizations and government agencies millions of dollars. Ransomware works by writing vicious code into computer files through encryption not easily recognized by system registries. Users unsuspectedly infect their own hard drive by clicking on email links, from unknown sources.
Once the links are open, ransomware begins a hostile takeover, by infecting files and inserting its own personal codes. Victims must then pay a hefty fee for a removal code. Even after paying the ransom, the validity or authentication of the removal codes remains questionable. With cyber thieves becoming more advanced with every passing day, businesses should assume full responsibility for protecting their own investment.
How to Protect Your Network
As a business owner, you owe it to yourself, your staff, and your clients to protect your data by doing everything you can to protect against ransomware. The IT security experts at Brave River Solutions can help you develop an IT security plan that’s customized for your network, with steps including:
- Backing up critical information
Uploading files to the cloud or another private server can prevent you from losing access to valuable company policies and data. Additionally, external back-up hardware, like external hard drives, can also provide a secure, secondary record keeping method in the event of a system lockout. It is a good idea to train or educate your employees on how and why they should back-up valuable data. Your IT team can create an automatic backup schedule to ensure that nothing is missed.
- Performing risk analysis testing
A ransomware attack can cause your business to lose profits and customers by cutting-off your access important functions of your business, like customer accounts, vendor information, and accounts payable and receivable. An IT Security Audit will help identify your network’s weaknesses and areas of vulnerabilities, so that your IT team can promptly address any issues. Periodically performed audits will help your staff maintain your network and hardware’s security against cyber thieves and cyber hijackers, in addition to ensuring that your IT infrastructure runs smoothly.
- Training staff on IT security awareness
Cybersecurity awareness provides an extra layer of protection for you and your customers. By training your employees to recognize and take precautions against online threats, you are investing in the future and security of your business. Training sessions can take place in the office setting, and guidelines created by your IT consultants can be distributed to all employees.
- Patching vulnerabilities
Hackers look for vulnerabilities, and outdated software often falls into this category. Software that is no longer supported by its manufacturer is not subject to security updates, making it vulnerable to vicious tactics of ransomware. Making sure all your software – including your anti-security and anti-malware software – is upgraded to the latest versions can help reduce your risk of attack.
As the saying goes, sometimes the best offense is a great defense. To create and implement an IT security solution tailored specifically to your organization’s needs, contact Brave River’s IT consultants today at (401)-828-6611.