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How to Protect Yourself From Ransomware

How to Protect Yourself From Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that uses asymmetric encryption to hold the victim’s information at ransom. There are numerous types of ransomware. The majority of them are delivered through targeted attacks or elaborate email spam campaigns.

By itself, ransomware is not the most significant risk. The actual risk occurs with the operational impact the ransomware will have on the business. Imagine a vital process or service of your business immediately coming to a standstill. Ransomware has the ability to shut down parts or all of a plant, freeze up manufacturing control systems, target a bank’s clearinghouse, or cause other backlogs. Below are five ways that you can protect your business from becoming the next victim of ransomware.

Regularly Backing Up Your Servers

Implementing a disciplined backup and recovery strategy is one of the best ways to safeguard your system from ransomware. However, backups will not necessarily make a ransomware attack trouble-free. This is because it may take a considerable amount of time to restore the data. In the case of a successful attack, file servers and workstations should not be continuously connected to their backup devices. Additionally, instead of creating standard overwrites of previous backups, the goal should be to store periodic snapshots.

Employing a Multi-Layered Methodology to Network Security

Protecting your business from ransomware and other types of malware do not begin nor end at the gateway. In fact, the security of your system will depend on the network perimeter and should be enhanced to include anti-spyware and antivirus. Adopting a multi-layered approach will help prevent ransomware from accessing your system through a single point of failure.

Educating All Levels of Staff

Training and educating staff on the dangers of malware will bring awareness throughout the entire organization. Employees should treat all suspicious emails with increased caution. Staff should understand that unusual domain names, spelling errors, and the genuineness of the request may all be red flags for ransomware. If a link seems questionable, experts advise hovering over it to determine where it leads before unsuspectingly clicking on it.

Creating Network Segments

Typically, ransomware will attempt to spread from the endpoint to where all of the data is stored, which is normally on a storage server. A network is segmented when critical devices and other apps are isolated on a separate network or virtual local area network (LAN). A network segment will help to prevent the spread of ransomware using a device such as a router, switch, bridge, hub, or repeater.

Protecting Android Devices

Devices that run the Google Android operating system have become targets for ransomware attacks. These may occur through the use of fake apps, infected software or system updates, or even by clicking on spam sent via SMS. To protect Android devices, experts recommend to employ the following measures:

  • Always download apps from the Google Play store.
  • Do not root devices.
  • Allow Google to scan devices for threats.
  • Create a blacklist of disallowed apps.

With the recent uptick in ransomware attacks, it’s important to make sure your system is protected. There are several types of software available that will accomplish this for your organization by governing every identity and inspecting every packet. This assures that data is protected and your business is safeguarded from a variety of threats, including ransomware.

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by Brian Perry // Brian Perry is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.