Ransomware Attacks and Steps to Help Prevent Attacks
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a malicious attack to your computer network that can propagate easily through email attachments. Once in your network, ransomware finds all root servers and databases and encrypts all your files and folders. It may also modify all file extensions to ensure all software and applications are inoperable and no longer modifiable.
Once they complete the encryption, the company is rendered essentially frozen, being unable to work. Access to emails or business transaction are also frozen until said company pays the “Ransom” to release the files.
This has become a multimillion dollar business for cyber criminals and more and more attacks are engineered every day!
Visual recommends you follow any or all of these steps below to insure the safety of your data and your companies operating future.
1: Educate your users on proper email safety.
Never open any attachments from unknown sources. There is no common email theme and it could be something titled “Last night’s pictures,” “Here is your refund assessment,” “See Invoice Attached," or any other number of eye catching subject titles meant to attract or bait the user into opening the attachment.
Educate your colleagues to look at the suffix address form. Example “@emailform.biz” or anything that does not seem familiar should not be opened.
Delete the email right away and continue working with your email as usual.
2: Secure the connection to your network using a VPN connection.
The purchase of a configurable Hardware firewall is recommended. A VPN restricts all access to your network except by a vetted connection through the firewall using an encryption key. This will prevent most attacks emanating from outside your network that is not email based.
Should you need help or advise, your IT team member, or Visual Support can help you determine what is needed.
3: Always perform daily or weekly backups that are maintained off of the main server.
IE: Kept backups on an external drive or on an offsite server that is not accessible on the main network.
If your server is infected, the easiest way to remove the virus or malicious code is to wipe (format) the systems drive and rebuild the server. This is especially in the case of Ransomware when the only way to get rid of it is to format your drives or pay the ransom. With a copy of your data in hand, the chances of data loss is minimal and much more manageable then losing years of work and invoices.
Visual offers data backups to be held in our offices and many customers currently benefit from additional safety in case of hardware failures or malicious attacks.