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Four practical steps to reducing the risk posed by ransomware

Publish On : 24/09/2016

Below, there are four practical steps to reduce your exposure to ransomware:

a) Improve awareness:

The first step in preventing infection with ransomware is to make users aware of the risks when opening attachments and hyperlinks to web pages. Increase awareness of online safety for both consumers and businesses.

b) Set up governance:

For companies it is important that users can only access the files they need for their jobs. This can help prevent contamination of data from other departments. Both the risk of contamination and their effects should be limited in this way. It is therefore important to achieve governance compliance in respect to the access and processing of data.

c) Drafting procedures:

To minimize the damage from infection, it is also important to establish policies and procedures to maintain up-to-date computers and software, and to make regular backups of information for restoring data in the event of an incident.

d) Backup:

To prevent data loss, you should, of course, ensure regular backups of valuable files are made and store these in an isolated, safe place. This type of storage policy also ensures that the backups are safe from a fire or burglary. Restore on a safe, clean system with no Crypto Locker to avoid an infinite loop of backup and restore. When an infection is detected, systems (either automatic or manual) should be in place to turn off the computer and disconnect network cables as well as peripherals to prevent further spread. Good antivirus software must be installed and kept up-to-date. Finally, learn from any Crypto Locker incident and apply an appropriate defense.

In an ideal world, nobody would pay the ransom. You should always, however, report the crime to the police. This provides more insight into the extent of the problem and helps in the fight against it.

The best form defense is to avoid being the weakest target. By using the advice above and an expert IT partner, I sincerely hope that you do not become a victim of ransomware.

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