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The Best Way to Protect Your Company from Ransomware

I am asked on a daily basis, “How do we protect our company from ransomware?”

A lot of you know of, or have friends that have been infected with Ransomware and were not prepared. They have paid ransom and have, in cases, lost all of their data.

Ransomware is such a scary topic to many, as it should be, but there are things you can do to protect yourself and your company.

For those not as “in-tune” to what ransomware is: ransomware is a malware that once it installs to a computer, proceeds to encrypt all the data on the computer and any network shares it can reach. It then produces a screen informing you that you are infected and need to pay $XX in bitcoin to get your data back.

So, what do you need to know and do to protect yourself?

First, know that there is no “silver bullet” to stopping a ransomware attack. That being said, we like to look at it as a layered approach involving education and software(s).

Here is what we recommend:

 

  1. Education
    Educate yourself and your people on fake email. Phishing and spoofing attempts are becoming very realistic and can fool you into becoming a victim. If you’d like more information about what to look for in fake emails checkout our article “Fake Emails: What You Need to Know”

 

  1. Have good, up-to-date endpoint protection
    You’ve heard of antivirus and anti-malware and most likely have them, the newest iteration of these software is called endpoint protection. The difference between antivirus and endpoint protection resides in how the software is monitored and updated. Endpoint protection software is managed remotely by your IT support. This way they can monitor alert and log entries to better protect your computers. And they have likely fixed any issues before you even knew you had them.

 

  1. Software updates and patches
    The latest ransomware attacked computers through missing security updates. Make sure all of your software is up to date and all security patches have been installed. Updates come out almost weekly so this can be a daunting task, the easiest way to make sure you are updated is to have a managed services contract with a good IT firm that monitors and patches your computers as needed.

 

  1. Router configurations and updates
    Your Router is the gateway between your computer and the internet. This device controls all access in and out of your computer from the outside world. As with all devices they need to be configured properly to make sure you are as safe as possible. Firmware also needs to be updated. The firmware is the software that runs a router and just like any other software it needs updates from time to time.

 

  1. DNS services
    There are several companies that provide what are called DNS services. These services act as another gateway and route all of your traffic on the internet. Blocking all sites that are considered nefarious. As an example, most Ransomware, once it is on your computer needs to report back to a website to get an encryption key so that it can encrypt your files. DNS services block those sites as soon as they are known, thus blocking the capability of the ransomware from encrypting your files.

 

As time and malware changes, so will this list. Malware is an ever-changing dynamic of computers and networks and the bad guys are always trying new things.

If you have any questions or would like more information on these or other services AcaciaIT provides please contact us at aitservices@acaciait.net or call (520) 751-0888.