Ransomware is a type of a malware that denies a person ( computer user ) from accessing the computer or certain files by locking the system or by encrypting data until ransom money is paid.The Ransom is normally paid in Bitcoins ( Crypto-currency).
As our technology world keeps on changing becoming more complex, so does these cyber attacks keep on increasing & mutating at a lightning-fast speed. Computer users are now more than ever surrounded by malware / ransomware and a simple mistake e.g a download/ click could cause them to
infiltrate & affect your system resulting in catastrophic events e.g. Data loss , phishing / CEO fraud scams, revenue loss/ theft, IP blacklisting & compromised email accounts e.t.c.
Due to the changing nature of malware attacks, it is vital to have a number of different approaches so as to strengthen the layer of protection hence providing comprehensive protection from these attacks.
Below are a number of ways you can protect yourself & your organization against ransom wares.
1. Outbound / Inbound Email filtering ( Security )
Millions of users have been affected by the rapidly spreading Wanna cry ransomware. This is because in organizations not everyone has the technical knowledge of distinguishing between a genuine email and a spam mail that has malware attachments. It is therefore prudent for an IT department to sensitize its staff about spam emails and also adopt an email filtering service from a well established managed service provider. Outgoing and incoming email filtering helps in securing staff members ( emails users ) against common ransomware , fraudster and phishing activities.
2. Offsite ( Cloud ) Data backup
We all have critical data in our laptops / pcs that might be very useful and we can’t afford to lose it . Imagine one day when you are trying access some of this data but you cannot since the data has been corrupted and encrypted by a ransomware.
Cloud ( off-site ) data backup helps individual or businesses to secure their critical data, databases, files & applications offsite from their business premises so to mitigate risks of data loss. By securing your data offsite, individuals have a piece of mind since even if they are attacked by a ransomware, it is easy to restore their data from the cloud and continue with their business.
Pepea cloud backup has added value to numerous businesses in East Africa due to its guaranteed data security as well as faster restorations . Learn more about Pepea cloud data backup : http://msgafrica.net/Value of cloud back up : You can restore /retrieve your data easily from a cloud backup provider, by a
click of a button in times of a data loss crisis ( attack by a ransom ware).
3. Data Encryption
Some organizations backup their critical data on external hard drives, on-premise backup servers , Network attached Storages ( NAS ) but fail to encrypt their data. This exposes your data to unauthorized people since the data is in a readable format . Encrypting your data, helps your data to be transmitted and stored in an unreadable format, hence stopping external third parties, eavesdroppers & applications e.g. Ransomware from accessing your data. Pepea cloud backup incorporates Advanced Encryption Standards ( AES ) encryption which is among the best and unbreakable Cipher algorithms for data security.
4. Secured Network Configurations
When setting up ( configuring ) and installing new hardware, (e.g Printer, scanner etc) we often leave the network open hence making it vulnerable and easily accessible to spammers and malware. Proper configurations with updated firmware help in protecting a network from such risky situations.
5. User (staff ) – training
In an organization, as explained above, not everyone might have the technical knowledge of identifying viruses, malware / cyber attacks and how they manifest themselves.
It is prudent for CSOs & IT specialists to train all staff members since this acts as a preventive measure that protects the entire organization against threats.
6. Risk Assessment
The essence of risk assessment and risk management is to identify both internal / external risks and their potential impact to an organization . Risk management and risk assessment helps ICT departments to analyze hazards / risks and formulation of corrective action plans to implement with time as risk changes over time . In this scenario, IT departments should analyze possible risks of attacks e.g. don’t spam, ransomware, Network Penetration tests and formulate policies & measures to prevent such occurrences from happening.
7. Regular windows patch update for clients and servers
Outdated window versions expose pc user to a number of threats like wanna Cry ransomware attacks. By regularly updating windows versions, this helps in protecting the users ( employees, clients etc ) and servers are protected against any known threats.
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Thank you for reading and Stay Safe !.