A massive cyber-attack occurred over the weekend affecting over 200,000 businesses in 150 countries. The ransomware attack caused havoc by locking computers that run Britain’s public hospital network, Germany’s national railway, government agencies and tens of thousands of businesses worldwide.
What is a Ransomware cyber-attack?
Ransomware is a sophisticated, malicious software that is used by hackers to take control of IT systems by encrypting files blocking access to your files and data. This allows cyber-attackers to extort money from you or your business by demanding, a usually hefty, ransom fee to have access to your files again. Unfortunately, even when businesses pay the ransom fee, results are uncertain. Therefore, itro recommends to NOT pay any sort of ransom.
The good news!
There are several effective measures to protect against malicious cyber-attacks:
- Stop it from reaching your ‘front door’. Ransomware threats are usually spread via email so use a Cloud-based email filtering service to detect the threat before it arrives at your network. itro recommends Mailguard as our preferred Cloud-based Email Protection Service.
- Don’t let it through your ‘front door’. Have a firewall that supports deep level content inspection to prevent viruses entering your network. itro installs Watchguard firewalls with APT blocker features enabled. These features help prevent the Trojan from penetrating your network.
- Stop or slow down the spread if it gets into your network. Employ best practice password policies and have a top level Anti-Virus Security Suite, such as Webroot. A good password policy can stop a Cryptolocker in its tracks and gives the Anti-Virus suite the best probability of detecting and preventing the ransomware early before it infects and encrypts your PC or, even worse, your entire network.
- Restore your data. A secure Backup Solution is the last resort to recovering your files in the case of infection. Have a ‘snapshot’ backup that runs continuously throughout the day to a destination that is NOT on your internal network. itro implement comprehensive Backup and Disaster Recovery solutions utilising ShadowProtect software on exclusive itro managed Cloud Servers that will hold your data securely in an off-site location.
- Upgrade your computers to Windows 10, as there are numerous security improvements to the operating system that are not available in earlier versions of Windows.
Ransomware poses a significant and tangible threat to your business, but implementing the above five steps will minimise your likelihood of being infected with a CryptoLocker.