If you have ever thought or vocalized that a ransomware attack won’t happen to you and your organization, this may make you reconsider. Hackers are demanding money from Pennsylvania lawmakers. A ransomware attack has frozen Democrats in the Pennsylvania state Senate out of their computers, data, email and website. This attack, which is believed to be the first on a state legislative party organization, was discovered on March 3. After malware infected the legislative party’s computer systems, the hackers demanded a ransom payment in bitcoin to remove the virus and unlock the files and data. As of today, the Democratic senators’ government website is still offline. State senators and associated staff are urged not to try to access email or anything that could be connected to their network host for fear of spreading the malware. So, are you still saying ransomware attacks can’t reach you?

The best thing an organization can do for themselves is to prepare themselves with a good defense against a ransomware attack. Here are four tips to best protect your organization from suffering a potentially damaging and expensive ransomware attack:

  1. Back up everything diligently. The best protection is to invest in a quaility and reliable backup system. In the event of an attack, you can just wipe your computers and servers and then restore your latest backup.
  2. Don’t open or click suspicious emails or links. This is a hard thing to expect from your employees when they don’t always know what is dangerous and what is acceptable to open. Cyber-training is a suggested course of action you could take within your organization to help educate your employees on what is safe to open and what is not. Also, do not be afraid to block domains and websites that you know are harmful.
  3. Patch Management.  Cybercriminals are at least one step ahead of software patches and email/website blacklists. Having your organization enrolled in a patch management program with an expert IT Consultant can help ensure there are no leaks in your software.
  4. If you get infected, immediately disconnect. A cyberattack is easier to contain and disarm if it’s limited to the original source of the attack. Once it spreads to multiple machines or servers, it becomes more difficult and expensive to remedy. Once you realize you are infected, notify IT and get everything offline as soon as possible. Quarantining the infected machines is the only way to stop ransomware from infecting your entire network.

You are not immune from cyberattacks. Be proactive in protecting yourself. Being reactive causes worst damage in the long run. Following the four above steps will help position your company best to avoid a cyberattack. 2W Tech has IT Consultants on staff that are trained in Security solutions and can work with your organization to help ensure you are protected from outside threats.
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