Ransomware is a form of malware that blocks its victim’s access to their files.  A payment is then demanded for the key that can decrypt the blocked content.  This is a very prominent and concerning cyber threat.  If organizations aren’t prepared for a potential ransomware attack, it can takes several days to restore access after being attacked.

Ransomware features unbreakable encryption, so you can’t decrypt the files on your own – and it can encrypt all types of files including documents, pictures and music.  It can also scramble your file names just to keep the victims confused.  It can also spread to other computers within a connected network.

There are steps you can take to help protect yourself from such a vicious attack. Here are 5 tips:

  1. Education – Educating your employees about Ransomware is important. Each user on your networks is your first line of defense.  When they are aware of the risks and ransomware is never executed, it can cause no harm.
  1. Backup your data – Establishing a robust and comprehensive backup regime is a fundamental requirement for using business technology. However, when it comes to ransomware, it is possible that infected data is newer than backed up data. Therefore, it is imperative that key data is backed up frequently. Backups should be isolated, so that no risk of cross infection is possible.
  1. Operate Redundantly – If business critical IT systems are potentially exposed to the risk of ransomware infection, it is advisable to operate redundant systems. This will minimize the risk faced, and also ensure business continuity of a successful malware attack takes place.
  1. Authenticate Inbound Email – Actually filtering out not only SPAM, but other potentially dangerous emails is now very easy to do. Most email servers allow for the checking of flags such as reverse IP lookup, SPF, DMARC and DKIM records. Flagging any incoming mail that does not pass these kinds of tests, is a major roadblock for ransomware distributors.
  1. Invest in Desktop Security and Automate Updates – Most malware developers, try to stay one step ahead of the game. They expose and then exploit vulnerabilities in the OS, and also the application layers, such as office suites and even web browsers. Therefore, the developers of the OS and the applications, are always playing catch up, plugging security holes once they have been discovered. Automating the patching process for the desktop, makes sure that critical updates are installed as soon as they become available.

Ntirety, a division of HOSTING, analyzes and optimizes database workflows and applications by determining the personality of each dataset and developing a different approach that will lead to data-centric security. We believe the structure of your data is critical to gleaning insights from your data to stop attacks. Other services we offer include remote DBA, DBA OnDemand, and database consulting services and we work with leading vendors such as Oracle, Microsoft, and VMWare. Contact us for more information.