Ransomware attacks are much like a virus that gets in to your system and encrypts your data, making all your files inaccessible and unusable then holding you to a ransom to get your files back.
Backup your data
One of the key things in protecting yourself against ransomware attacks is to make sure all of your data is backed up regularly, be it to the cloud or local backup media.
Be doubtful of unsolicited attachments, even from people you know – Just because an email message looks like it came from a reputable source, doesn’t necessarily mean that it has. Many viruses can “spoof” the return address, making it look like the message came from someone else. If you can, check with the person who supposedly sent the message to make sure it’s legitimate before opening any attachments.
Make use of an Advert Blocking application – Many types of malware can be accidentally installed by clicking on or in some cases just viewing advertisements. Applications such as AdBlock can remove adverts from a page therefore reducing the risk of being infected.
Train your employees
If you employ anyone at your business, ensure they’re trained in basic online security. Employees are the biggest security risk to a company, so take the time to let them know they must be on the ball when it comes to protecting your business and your customer’s online. It’s everyone’s responsibility.
Anti-Virus / Anti-Malware
Anti-virus and anti-malware software protects you, your privacy and your data. Malware and viruses steal personal information, take over your PC / Mac, pop up unwanted adverts and they can even use your computer to attack other people’s computers. You need to ensure that all computers in your company are protected and the software has its most recent definitions update applied.
It’s very easy to constantly hit the little “Postpone” button every time windows asks to reboot to apply updates whilst it might be convenient at the time to save that precious 10 minutes of downtime. Postponing important updates can cause havoc later down the line if your computer gets infected through a method which was recently patched. Allowing updates to install is one of the easiest methods of protecting your computer. It is also worth noting that old versions of windows such as XP are no longer supported from Microsoft and therefore are no longer being updated. If your company has an XP machine you are at serious risk and it should be replaced ASAP.
Secure remote access
If you have remote access to your PC this needs to be as secure as possible, not on the default Remote Desktop Ports and a secure password must be used. Ideally any remote access should be behind a VPN to increase the level of security.