Cyber Security Basics Ransomware

This Cyber Security Basics Ransomware post is a short, simple primer for small business owners to understand more about #Ransomware.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious software that will scramble all of the files that it can find on your device, on your network, even in the cloud and it will look for money to unscramble the data from you, probably through using some kind of virtual currency like a Bitcoin.

How does it get in?

It can get in through a phishing email. Through somebody opening an attachment that contains malicious software or by clicking a link which takes you to a website that can download malicious software. It can also happen outside of your control by the criminals probing at any kind of remote access service that you have on your network. These can be penetrated and if they are, they can get into your network and they will scramble all of your data that they can see and it will also likely steal data from you beforehand and use that as a further leverage to get more money out of you for not revealing that data.

How can I protect myself?

It is possible to defend against ransomware by taking these following steps:

  1. You should only be using currently supported, up-to-date versions of software.
  2. You should use some kind of anti-virus or anti-malware software.
  3. Your staff should receive regular security awareness training so that they can recognise dodgy emails that will contain links or attachments that could compromise your setup.
  4. You should also make sure that any remote access capabilities that you have is kept fully up-to-date and is well hardened.

How can I prevent having to pay?

Backups are by far the best way to recover from a ransomware incident. I always recommend that small businesses use the 3-2-1 backup methodology. That is:

  • Having three copies of your data, one copy being your live version
  • Having two copies on separate media such as an external hard drive or the cloud and
  • One copy is off-site and one copy is offline

It is the offline copy that will help you recover from ransomware.

The other thing with backups is you must test your backups, because you don’t have a backup until you know it works. So




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