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Protecting Yourself from Ransomware

A Seven-Part Recipe to Avoid Ransomware

By   Mike Arvidson

May 19, 2017

The global ransomware attacks on May 12 and 14 should have you spooked… here’s what to do next!

Remember: Cyber security is not static, and it’s highly complicated so no one solution will be a quick fix. There’s no magic bullet when it comes to securing your organization. But there is a recipe of solutions that can move your organization in the right direction.

To be as secure as possible, you must take a multi-layered approach involving seven key areas.

  1. Protect your business from malicious activity by educating your employees. You’ll want to roll out security awareness and user training so that your team is armed with insight and is discerning enough to not open or click on suspicious links and attachments. As the business owner, it’s your duty to teach and empower your employees to interact safely with email and websites.

  2. Employ an email security system. An email security system should be in place to protect against threats coming through email. Even if your team has been trained to be cautious, without an effective and strong security system, threats can still get through.

  3. Ensure that your systems are up to date. Patch management solutions are in place to ensure that the latest fixes from the software development companies are actually installed across your organization. Think of the latest iPhone update (have you installed it yet?): Sometimes people delay an update for various reasons, but what they need to know is that by not updating with each new release, they’re putting themselves and organizations at risk. A proper patch management solution effectively administers firmwide updates and closes security holes in your systems.

  4. Secure your connection to the Internet.A firewall with the intelligence and advanced security detection capabilities to detect and prevent threats from entering your business network can help ensure security.

  5. Deploy Next-Generation Endpoint security (anti-virus) on servers and work stations. Using a real-time threat security prevention solution is key to detecting new threats quickly enough to prevent infections.

  6. Use application whitelisting. Application whitelisting will truly control which programs can run throughout your network.

  7. Use the appropriate backup software. Do you know what you’re backing up and what you are not backing up? Are your backups working? Have you tested a restore recently? Do you have three copies of your data on two different media types and at least one copy of your data offsite? Your backups will be critical to recover data in a time of need.