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Tips to Prevent Being a Victim of Ransomware

 

A new study released by Bitdefender, a security provider, shows that in the first quarter of 2016, there was 3,500% growth in the number of ransomware domains created, setting a new record. Ransomware has been spreading though organizations via file-sharing networks, e-mail attachments, malicious links or compromised websites that allow direct downloads. The same study also shows that ransomware is the number 2 technology concern medium and large organizations worry over. The study also shows that ransomware and rootkits are perceived as particularly difficult to tackle by companies with limited experience in malware attacks. Imagine how a small or mid-size business would struggle. Any size organization should take the following steps to protect their organization from being the next victim of a ransomware attack.

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  • Make sure you have a record of all the systems within your organization. Cybercriminals can attack a system you don’t know you have, sometimes pretty easily, since you probably aren’t protecting it if you don’t know it exists.
  • Make sure ALL software is up-to-date. Running old versions leaves you unprotected and vulnerable.
  • Regular backups on every device that accesses your network and these backups should be sent to an off site location.
  • Segment your network so that all data isn’t being stored in the same place.
  • Have a ransomware attack plan created. This should include how to communicate with employees when an attack happens. It should also include your intentions on paying the ransom or instead going to the authorities. It helps to have a clear mind when considering what steps to take.
  • Have a full network analysis performed on all your systems and devices. This should include the cybersecurity threats perceived within your organizations. If you can find your vulnerable spots before an attack hits, you can take steps to correct them before you are breached.
  • Educate employees. Educate yourself. Keep educating. Cyberattacks and ransomware are always evolving.

Ransomware has been the largest unresolvable threat to Internet users in the last couple years. It will remain one of the most important drivers of cybercrime in 2016 and possible even the year after. Millions of users and millions of dollars fell to ransomware in the last year alone and that was before the cyberattacks matured. For every new strand of ransomware released, that version is tested and improved by hackers and released in its new form. This process continually multiplies the threats out there.  Don’t sit back and wait until you are the next victim. Be proactive and implement the above tips. 2W Tech is an IT Consultant that offers network and risk assessments and would be happy to work with your organization on ensuring you are protected from threat.

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