Have you heard of Ransomware? It’s a particularly nasty type of Malware. It gets into your systems in the same way as many other security risks like viruses…through a dodgy email, website or direct attack. Your access to your own data is cut off and you literally have to pay a fee – a ‘ransom’ to get it back. Really nasty ransomware even encrypts your data just to make sure you can’t get to it.
Many businesses are being caught out by ransomware and this year for the first time, even on Macs. In March 2016, a number of news websites, including the New York Times and the BBC were targeted by malware through adverts appearing on the sites. Combined, they have billions of visitors. The malware attacked through a recently patched system that tried to infect readers’ computers through the back door (The Guardian, March 16th 2016). So what can you do about it?
Well, as with many security threats, the best thing to do is to prevent an attack in the first place. This is best achieved by making sure your systems and software applications are kept up to date. Ensure you’re always on the latest versions, that you’re downloading any security patches that come through and being vigilant about what staff is doing. No one deliberately causes a security breach, usually it happens by accident because a member of staff has opened a phishing email, or been caught out.
When you know everything is up to date, then it’s time to protect your systems. There is a myriad of options available – make sure you’re protecting all your end points – that means each individual PC, laptop, tablet or phone, as well as your main systems. Layered security is the way to go.
What if it’s too late and you’ve already fallen foul of a ransomware attack? Well in this case, back up is your best friend. If you’ve got an up-to-date, uninfected back up, you (or your managed IT service provider) can simply restore your system and you can carry on.
If all this sounds like a bit of a headache, let us help. We’re experts in our field and have partnered with Malwarebytes who have a great ransomware product. Over the 15 years we’ve been in business we’ve selected great products that mean you don’t have to scour the market for the best solution. We are happy to come in for a free chat to talk about your IT systems and any IT support concerns. We’ll run a full audit and be able to highlight to you any risks with your current set up. When you think about the potential risks to your business of losing access to all your data, it could be the best investment of half an hour you’ll ever make.