The tech world has been hit hard with cyber-attacks this year and ransomware has been at the centre of it all. So far this year we have seen two record-breaking attacks happen in a matter of months. In May the WannaCry ransomware infected hundreds of thousands of computers, disrupting hospitals, banks and businesses. Then in late June we had another attack, this time malware which was dubbed NotPetya, this version of ransomware caused mayhem across Ukraine, Russia and many other countries.
What is Ransomware? Ransomware is a malicious program that's like a computer virus. It's designed to scan your hard drives and encrypt as many files as it can, this leaves the user unable to open their important files and data. The files are technically still there and you have to pay a sum (the ransom) in order to unlock and get access to your original files.
This problem doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon and technology is only advancing every day. So what can we do to protect our technology from constantly being attacked? We suggest companies should create a defence/protection strategy to ensure businesses are ready for these attacks. Ransomware is a very smart virus programme and it is likely we will never completely be able to block them but there are some security measures we can put in place to try and deter the attacks from happening.
1. Threat protection
Everyone who has ever owned a computer knows antivirus is a necessary step to take as it can be a defence against most viruses. Though antivirus may not be able to stop all cyber-attacks straight away, it can stop most dead in their tracks. This type of protection is vital in businesses and would stop many computer breakdowns from taking place - therefore will save you both time and money.
2. HIPS (host intrusion prevention system)
HIPS or IPS systems act as great barricades against the new cyber-attacks taking place, though they are more difficult to tune and more difficult to implement. A reportable HIPS system should identify, report on and shut down before the attack hits your system.
3. Backup and restore
Cyber-attacks and ransomware are changing and evolving everyday with attacks only getting stronger. One way to for us to stop losing all our data is to back up your files on a regular basis. It could also be a good idea to save extremely important files and data on a removable hard drive, meaning you would have a second copy if something were to go wrong. Of course this wouldn’t be practical in every situation but it could definitely help. Having a recent backup allows IT companies to restore user data quickly to help them get back up and running with limited disruption.
Now you know of these three simple steps I hope you take them into consideration. No one wants disruption within their business and as we are becoming more reliant on technology we have to take more steps. Another step to take is to just be aware, try to avoid opening any messages you receive that look slightly odd. At Applewood IT we can do a full audit and review of your businesses security needs. Contact my team on 020 3141 8833 for a quote.
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