How To Avoid Ransomware Attacks

Posted on June 27, 2017

Ransomware attacks seem to be occurring frequently and taking down business operations across the globe. A recent example of a global cyberattack was the “New Petya” ransomware. These intrusions often cost organizations in downtime and loss of valuable data. A few simple tips can provide the best defense and help prevent businesses from falling victim to these threats.

Install Updates and Patches

Many viruses and malware are able to attack through vulnerabilities in an operating system. As seen with the WannaCry virus in May 2017, Microsoft issued a patch for Windows dating back as far as 14 years. Users and system administrators failing to install updates was the primary reason the malicious virus was able to spread. Systems should always be patched, even if they are running an unsupported version of Windows XP, Windows 8 or Windows Server 2003.

Maintain a Back-up Solution

Should a company be hit with a virus, restoring from a back-up is the best option. Companies need to make sure that files are backed up regularly to a hard drive that is not shared with other devices and keep a recent back-up copy off-site or in the cloud. There are many other ways files can suddenly disappear such as fire, flood, theft, or just a dropped laptop. Backing up files remotely ensures that businesses are able to prevent any of these from becoming a catastophe.

Run Anti Ransomware Programs

Businesses should install security software and, most importantly, keep it up to date. Thousands of new malware variants run every day. Having out of date security software is almost as bad as having none at all.

Never Open Suspicious Email Attachments

Employees should avoid opening any attachments from an unknown email address. Regardless of how many attachments an employee generally receives, each one should be carefully looked at prior to opening them. Failure to do so could lead to infected computers and expose the company to malicious software or other security threats such as ransomware.

Contact the IT experts at RJ Young for more tips and a free network assessment to ensure your organization is protected.


Sophos Guide to Avoiding Ransomware Attacks: HERE

Microsoft Guidance for WannaCry Attacks: HERE

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