Ransomware is a form of malware that blocks access to your device or files and demands payment for you to regain control.
Ransomware has been around since the 1980s, but it’s never been so problematic as it is today.
That’s because ransomware has evolved from being a nuisance to being an epidemic that affects every industry and sector. The FBI recently issued a Cyber Alert warning about how serious this problem has become. They think the threat of ransomware is now reaching pandemic levels.
If you’re wondering what you can do to prevent ransomware attacks, here are seven steps you need to take right now.
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1. Maintain Backups of Your Data
Before you can prevent ransomware attacks, you need to prevent the loss of your data. After all, if you lose all your data due to a ransomware attack, then it doesn’t matter what else you do after the fact: You’re still vulnerable.
It would help if you had backups that are up-to-date and in sync with your regular files. And that includes cloud storage solutions. The goal is to have copies of all your files somewhere else on different media or online.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure those backups are located far away from the original server or device where they were created.
2. Use Anti-Malware Software On All Your Devices
The next preventative measure is to install anti-malware software on all your computers and mobile devices.
Anti-malware software stops the ransomware before it can encrypt your files. Many types of malware now spread through:
- Spam emails
- Malicious scripts embedded in websites
- Tainted ads
- Drive-by downloads
- Infected USB drives.
Specifically, you need to look for products that prevent these threats before they can infect your device. Also, try to stick with well-known, trusted vendors with plenty of resources if you ever run into trouble.
And remember: Anti-virus doesn’t prevent all ransomware attacks because most new forms of malware don’t use viruses anymore.
3. Employee Education To Prevent Ransomware Attacks
Of course, all your preventative measures are only going to work if your team knows how to prevent ransomware attacks.
New employees should be briefed on preventing these types of threats before they can cause any damage. Your IT team should also be extra vigilant about finding threats and protecting your devices.
If they’re not, you could have high-profile risks that are difficult to prevent because of the nature of the threat. For example:
- A worker who opens a malicious attachment in an email containing ransomware
- An employee visiting a site with infected ads or embedded malware
- A member of the exec team opening a phishing email (which is what happened at Hawaii’s courthouse)
You need everyone on board for these preventative measures to work. So don’t shy away from holding internal training sessions whenever there’s been an incident involving this type of threat. And it should happen even if it was outside your company.
All employees need to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity online or offline.
4. Keep Your Systems Updated
It’s a simple preventative step, but one that many people skip over. Make sure your computers and any other devices are up to date with all the latest patches.
This is especially true if you have older machines in your office. They’re often the targets of ransomware because they sometimes can’t run updates for various reasons. And one of them might be an old operating system or missing drivers.
Ensure these systems are updated regularly, so they don’t become easy prey for anyone trying to gain access to your network. You should also check out newer hardware with built-in security features. Stop using outdated computer equipment, servers, and mobile devices. prevent ransomware attacks
5. Only Use Trusted Software Sources
Malware often comes from shady websites or online ads. So it’s important to make sure you’re downloading programs and files from trustworthy sources.
This preventative measure can be a little tricky because there are so many different types of threats out there today. And they don’t all come from the same places. Some might come in emails, others may be embedded on websites, and some might be found on reputable forums or message boards.
So always check for certificates of authenticity before choosing software that could infect your system with ransomware. You should also avoid pirated copies of popular programs whenever possible.
6. Implement IDS/IPS Systems
Here’s another preventative measure, but one that many companies overlook. And it could come in handy if you’ve already been hit with ransomware:
Intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS).
Mistakes happen. People get infected without even realizing it was a preventable threat. But that doesn’t mean you have to cave in and hand over the ransom cash instantly. prevent ransomware attacks
Some of these IDS/IPS solutions are affordable enough for any business to consider. Just make sure your staff knows how to use them before an outbreak occurs. Then they will be able to prevent more infections from taking place once the damage is done. prevent ransomware attacks
7. Work With an IT Service Provider
This is probably the best way to prevent ransomware attacks.
If you don’t have a dedicated IT team to prevent ransomware attacks, you should work with experienced professionals.
Proactive protection is key when it comes to avoiding these threats and recovering from them quickly. Speak with an IT service provider about preventative measures after an attack has occurred. They can make sure there aren’t any other weaknesses in your system that could lead to another infection later.
Never trust your data or reputation to amateurs who don’t know how to prevent ransomware attacks from occurring in the first place. And then minimize the damage by having trained professionals on call for recovery assistance whenever they happen.
They’ll help prevent future outbreaks and provide quick repairs if they do occur so your business can stay afloat.
Check out https://ebsolution.ca/it-services-in-toronto/ for IT services in Toronto.
Ways To Prevent Ransomware Attacks
There are many preventative measures you can take to prevent ransomware attacks from occurring. If malware has already infected your system, there is still hope for recovery and prevention in the future. As long as you follow these steps to prevent a ransomware attack, it should be possible to prevent further outbreaks before they happen.
We hope this blog post has been helpful in providing expert advice on preventative measures for ransomware attacks. If you need any additional information, please keep reading our posts.