Protecting Your Business From Malware

Maribeth WardTech Tips0 Comments

 

There are a lot of bad guys out there on the world wide web and some of the worst are launching ransomware attacks on businesses. What would happen to your computer system if your business were hit with ransomware?  If you  haven’t backed up your files, there isn’t much you can do–unless you pay the ransom.  And, paying the ransom is no guarantee you will get your data back or won’t become a target for a malware attack.

So what’s the best course of action?  Keep the attack from happening in the first place. To do so, you need to know what ransomware is and how to keep it away from your computer.

Ransomware is a malicious type of software designed to block access to a system until a sum of money is paid.  There are three levels of ransomware:  Low Grade, Middle Grade and Most Dangerous.

Low Grade is basically scareware. These are fake antivirus tools that pretend to detect malware issues and demand payment to fix them.

Middle Grade has browser/screen locking ransomware that appears to come from the FBI or US Department of Justice.  These are messages that say they detected illegal activity on your computer and you owe a fine.

The most dangerous type uses encryption to take over your files. You see pop-up messages that say your files are encrypted and a demand for ransom money must be paid by a certain deadline in order to get them back.  Often, if the first notice is ignored by the deadline, a second message comes demanding double the money at a new date.

The big question is “should you pay the ransom?”  Often the FBI and other law enforcement agencies suggest you pay as the fastest way to retrieve your information. However, there is no guarantee that paying the ransom will get your data back and it can also make your business a target for future malware infections.

You are vulnerable if you: use legacy software; your business and/or Operating System is unpatched; you operate with outdated equipment; you don’t have a legitimate backup plan or you lack a comprehensive cyber security strategy.

Proactive Prevention is the best protection.

  1. Patch your system.  Keep browsers, Operating Systems, and other software applications up to date.
  2. Educate users about safe usage of social networking.  Show them how to detect phishing campaigns, suspicious websites and other scams.
  3. Backup you files.  Make several copies of your data on a regular basis and store it offsite.  Be sure backups are not stored on a mapped drive.  Some strains of ransomware can even encrypt files over  network shares.  If you are backing up to a USB or external hard drive, be sure devices are properly disconnected from the computer. We recommend storage on a secure cloud server with high level encryption and multi-factor authentication.
  4. Invest in layered security.  Installing multiple layers of cyber security protection can delete and block ransomware attacks before they happen.  For best protection use these layers:  a firewall, an anti-exploit, an antivirus with active monitoring, anti-malware and anti-ransomware.
  5. Sign up for WynWay’s Monthly Technical Business Support to provide protection and monitoring for your devices.

What to do if you are hacked

Unplug your computer and call WynWay.  If you’ve been backing up your files, not all is lost.  We can scan your backups for malware on another PC that isn’t infected.  Then run a scan on the infected machine to clean any traces of ransomware or other malware.  If your backups are clean, your files can usually be restored to your computer.

At WynWay, we provide technology services to clients across the country while being locally owned and operated in Greencastle, Indiana. Our services include, but are not limited to:

  • Mac repair
  • PC repair
  • Smart phone repair
  • Printer setup
  • Virus removal
  • Individual Training
  • Individual Monthly Tech Support
  • Business Monthly Tech Support

Are we missing something that you need? Contact us and we can work together to find a solution.

 

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