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As recent news headlines will tell you, ransomware is a growing threat. This type of cyberattack encrypts your data and holds it hostage until you pay the hackers for access. With costs ranging from $300 to over $1000 per affected machine, ransomware can cause significant trouble for companies of all sizes. Preventing a ransomware attack should be a priority in your network security protocol. These methods can help you avoid being a victim of this malicious crime.

Make Back-ups

The single most important thing you can do to thwart a ransomware attack is to back up your data. Hackers who deploy ransomware are banking on the fact that you need your data to operate your business. If you can restore your data without paying the fee, the hackers get nothing.

You should back up your important data daily to an offline device or cloud storage. By storing back-up copies off your network, you will have untainted access if your company is attacked. If an attack strikes, disconnect affected machines from the network promptly, restore them to factory settings, and then restore your data.

Update Software

Many ransomware and other malicious attacks take advantage of security holes in your software. You should make sure to install any updates and patches released by the manufacturer to reduce your risk. However, you should also install and update robust anti-virus software which will help stop any attacks before they get started.

Don’t Click

Ransomware and other malware can get onto your computer through phishing emails or malicious ads. Before clicking on any link, attachment, or ad you should check to see where it is taking you and scan for malware. By training your employees to look before they click, you can reduce the risk of malware getting onto your company’s machines.

Don’t Pay

Ransomware attacks can be costly in data and in time – but paying the ransom emboldens and funds the criminals behind the attack, and is not a guarantee you’ll get your data back unscathed. Report the crime to the FBI, but do not pay the fee. Your company should have protocols for recovering from a hardware loss situation.

Ransomware attacks are on the rise, but you don’t need to become a victim. Software updates and employee training can dramatically reduce your risk. Always have a backup of your important data to help you recover if you are attacked. Contact us today to learn more.

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6 Critical Areas to Address in Your IT Security Policy

 

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