In business, continuity of operations and access to systems is critical.  Any period of downtime affecting an individual user, a team or the organisation can have significant impact on your organisation and the clients you serve.  Without access to your systems, the business is losing money with every passing minute.

What we are seeing is constant ransomware attacks and it is only increasing.

There is information available in many forums about these attacks, yet it keeps happening!  Every business needs to be aware and know what they can do to protect themselves.

What is a Ransomware/Malware threat?
Ransomware arrives into organisations generally via email and through the use of social engineering tactics that dupe recipients into clicking on a link that seems legitimate but actually delivers malware to the computer.  These attacks are generally instant, within seconds encrypting files on the computer and on any connected network drives.

How do you know you have been hit?
It generally starts with someone unable to access a key application. On investigation it is determined that program files and data files have been encrypted.

Another way is that you may get the pop-up ransom note stating the files have been encrypted.

Protection
Industry experts are stating that there is no way to protect yourself completely from this threat, that rapid detection and response is critical.  However, here are some tips to help you reduce the risk of infection in your business:

• Backups are critical. Use separate credentials for backup software to the backup location. Multiple backups and have them taken offsite.
• Educate your staff! Constant reminders, at least fortnightly to keep it front of mind.
• Invest in a hardware based perimeter firewall that has its own anti-virus/intrusion detection  and prevention capabilities.
• A good anti-spam provider that can restrict attachments that flow into your network.
• Ensure your Anti-Virus software is kept up-to-date continuously on all PCs and servers.
• Make sure your staff access is appropriate across the network so that you limit or minimise the spread.

Ransomware is big business; companies continue to pay ransoms or buy unlocking software that funds these miscreants who continue to invest in new ways to penetrate businesses.

Reduce your risk and be ready to detect and respond rapidly if your business is hit.