As ransomware attacks continue to grow in size and breadth, and the type and scope of victims grow right along with them, your best defense in this fight you didn’t ask for is education and preparation.
Because if you are hit with an attack, it is already too late. Too late to back up, too late to gameplan. You will then be left with one of two very poor choices: either don’t pay the ransom and never recover your data, or pay the ransom and MAYBE recover your data. As any good bully will tell you, once they know you’ll pay, the chances are that you’ll be willing to pay more.
So your best defense, it turns out, is a good defense. Stack the deck in your favor by following these tips:
1. Don’t Hesitate, Update. Yes, it is annoying when your computer tells you it has to re-start to install updates. It’s inconvenient and no fun. But you know what’s less fun? Ransomware. Having some or all of your files held hostage and destroyed if you don’t come up with some serious bitcoin.
2. Now Let’s See You Back it Up. At least once a week, I’m halfway home on the train, when I suddenly utter a muffled curse to no one in particular. Because I just remembered that I forgot to commit. We have a share drive at work, and invariably I can’t get through a week without committing my files to it every day. DON’T BE THIS GUY. Back up your data to a remote hard drive, offline. Just take the 5 minutes, build it into your routine. Hopefully you never need that security blanket, but it is priceless to have.
3. Curiosity Killed the Files. The number one delivery vehicle for ransomware by far is phishing emails. If it looks suspicious, report it. Or at least ignore it. Especially anything with an attachment or link, from your personal or work email, even if it LOOKS like it is from a trusted sender, don’t do it. Better safe than sorry.
4. Think Proactively. Sounds simple enough, but let’s be honest. There are a lot of moving parts to any business, a lot of communication and collaboration, and sometimes things slip through the cracks. This needs to be a top priority. Take the time to get together and make sure you have a comprehensive strategy and either in place or ready to be implemented as soon as possible.
Ransomware is a very real threat, with some potentially crippling results. The best way to stay ahead of the criminals is to stay vigilant, and protect yourself in all ways you can. Start with these four. MIMICS offers full Disaster Recovery services, and will work with you closely to help you form your best line of defense.