Ransomware is malware (“malicious software”) that is hostile and intrusive software that makes it way to your computer, and then network, in many different forms. Once it is in your network, it will encrypt your data so that it is unusable. They will then ask you for a “ransom” to unencrypt your software. You may also hear the terms worms, Trojan virus, scareware, and spyware. These also fall under the umbrella term “malware”. All are intended to cause problems and wreak havoc on legitimate computer networks.
How to prevent it:
There is no solution to prevent malware 100%. However, by taking the correct precautions, you can cut down your chances of getting one, and in the event that you do, can recover quickly.
Make sure you have a good antivirus product in place. MBM can recommend solutions that are right for your organization. A good antivirus solution will help prevent most viruses. But by nature, they can’t prevent everything. Antivirus works at first as reactive, before it is proactive. Antivirus companies have staff that watch for reports of new viruses out there, and then they write a specific “antivirus” for each new virus that is discovered. These new antivirus definitions are pushed out to the end user via “updates”. That is why it is important to keep your antivirus subscriptions up to date. Those subscriptions enable you to get new definitions as needed.
A managed firewall solution is also necessary to help prevent malicious software from getting onto your network. A managed firewall is a device that monitors all incoming and outgoing network traffic, and decides whether to allow or block the traffic based on a defined set of security rules. A managed firewall will have firmware that gets updated frequently in the same manner as antivirus works. This will also prevent most malware from getting in, and getting out to your contacts. It will also allow the customer to block specific sites, or sites based on categories such as pornography or gambling.
Never open any mail attachments from which the sender is unknown, or unexpected. These may be disguised as tracking information from UPS or FedEx, banking information, etc. They may look to be legitimate. You also need to be careful as to what websites you visit. Most antivirus packages will tell you if a site is clean, or questionable.
ALWAYS keep a good backup of your data, done at LEAST once a day. MBM can help implement a backup solution that will ensure your data is kept secure, should you have to restore it.
If you DO get infected – immediately turn off your PC and disconnect from the network. Call us right away. We have experienced technicians that can stop your malware in its tracks, and get you cleaned and restored as quickly as possible.
All the above steps will help keep you safe. Contact your MBM Solutions Specialist if you have any questions.