Ask the Advisor: Mitigating Ransomware Cyberattacks
Q. Iâ€™ve heard Ransomware is one of the biggest cybersecurity threats an SMB faces. How can I protect my organization against it?
Ransomware is a form of malicious software that can threaten your computer, usually by denying access to your data once it’s taken over. The attacker demands ransom from the victim, promising to restore access to the data upon payment, which can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands.
One of the most common delivery systems isÂ a phishingÂ spam â€” attachments received via email, masquerading as a trusted file. Once the file is downloaded and opened, ransomware infects the victim’s computer, especially if they have built-inÂ social engineeringÂ tools that trick users into allowing administrative access. Some other more aggressive forms of ransomware, likeÂ NotPetya, exploit security holes to infect computers without needing to trick users.
Ways toÂ help prevent ransomware infections include:
Keeping yourÂ operating system patched and up-to-dateÂ to limit vulnerabilities.
Avoiding software installs or giving it administrative privileges unless you know exactly what it is and what it does.
InstallingÂ antivirus software to detect malicious programs as they arrive. Whitelisting software also helps prevent unauthorized applications from entering your computer.
Backing up your filesÂ frequently and automatically! This wonâ€™t prevent a malware attack, but can make the damage caused by one less significant.
These steps should be maintained for best security practices in general and also improves your defenses from all sorts of attacks.