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Don't Let Your Company Get Held to Ransom

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

/ by Nurdin Budi Mustofa
Don't Let Your Company Get Held to Ransom
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 12 months, you’ve probably noticed that a number of prominent businesses and organizations, including Britain’s National Health Service have suffered devastating ransomware attacks.

Ransomware allows hackers to gain access to important data and even take full control over computer systems, which they then hold to ransom, hoping for a big payday. If you think that sounds scary, you’re right, it is! That’s exactly why, as a business owner, you should be doing whatever you can to protect your company from being held to ransom.

Here are a few ways you can start to protect your business from ransomware:

Backup All of Your Data Regularly

If you backup all of your business data at the end of each day and if you always keep your most recent backup offsite, then if a ransomware attack on your business does take place, the hackers will have very little hold over you and you will not be forced to pay a shocking sum to get your data back.

Disable Macros

Hiding ransomware in email attachments is the most commonly known way that hackers infect computer systems, but actually, they have a lot more success hiding their code in macros on documents that can be downloaded from the internet. By having your IT support team disable macros on downloaded documents, you can, therefore, minimize your chances of being infected. This is actually very easy to do now, so there really is no excuse not to take this simple precaution.

Don’t Open Attachments

That being said, you should still inform your employees that they are not to download email attachments, which are from unknown addresses, which are unsolicited, or which they are in any way dubious about. In fact, if it’s at all feasible for you to do so, banning the downloading of email attachments altogether could be a great move for your company.

Limit Login Powers

No one who requires access, whether they’re staff, IT support or your customers should have more login privileges than absolutely necessary to enable them to do their work. Your network should also be set up in such a way that staff are automatically logged out after a short period of inactivity because it is so easy for the wrong person to gain access to an unattended device and cause havoc.

Update Security Software Regularly

If you want to avoid having your data held to ransom, then your whole computer network and any devices that are ever connected to it, should not only have the latest security software installed, but it should be updated as soon as a newer version becomes available because everything, even your printers, as Ricoh Printer Support will tell you, can be hacked. This means you should never let anyone connect a home device without first having it scanned for viruses and other nasties.

Use Firewalls

You should also ensure that you are making the best use of firewalls, not only to protect you from incoming threats online, but also to put a buffer between different parts of the company, so that if one part should become affected, the rest won’t be.

Invest in a Good It Team

Finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, having a good IT team in place will help you to keep your network under control and see off threats before they ever have a chance of hurting your company.

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