5 Tips for Avoiding Costly Cyber Attacks

In May, a ransomware attack known as “WannaCry” hit businesses and non-profit organizations worldwide. Cybercriminals hijacked hundreds of thousands of computers in over 150 countries, specifically targeting hospitals, academic institutions, and large corporate businesses. The hackers locked people out of their files, threatening to destroy their data.

Ransomware is when an email is sent to a user’s address and is opened by the target. Once the email is opened, a virus infects the machine with “ransomware” and locks the user out of their computer. In order to restore access, the hacker demands payment, which then allows the virus to be spread across all machines connected to the network.

What can you do to protect your business from ransomware? Read more to find tips from the security experts at ITP:

Make Safe and Secure Backups

In the event that your computer or network is successfully hacked, you run the risk of losing all your data. Once your files are encrypted, your options are limited – unless you have backups of your data stored somewhere.

Sadly, most people do not have safe and secure backups. They are also often out of date, and therefore missing critical information.

To better protect yourself and your business from hackers, it is important to make backups that are entirely disconnected from your network. That means making backups to an external hard drive or cloud services, and frequently. With these backups, you are no longer at the mercy of computer hackers.

Update Your Software

Security experts believe that the global cyber-attack, WannaCry, could have been avoided if people simply stayed on top of their security and software updates.

Microsoft released a new patch eight weeks prior to the WannaCry attack that would have protected users against this attack.

To avoid costly cyber-attacks, it is a good idea to configure your Windows machines to automatically install the latest updates.

Install Antivirus Software

In addition to updating your Windows software for the latest security enhancements, you should be actively installing an antivirus software to prevent malware from infecting your computer. We recommend a combination of McAfee and Trend Micro.

Antivirus software will protect your machine against the most basic, and well known viruses.

Educate Your Workforce

All employees should be taught basic phishing and ransomware protocol. We recommend training employees to better recognize these attacks, and to not open suspicious emails or pop ups. Teaching your employees how to detect malicious attacks can save major headaches.

If Hit, Don’t Wait and See

If you know that your machine is affected by ransomware, immediately disconnect your computer from the internet so that it does not affect other machines across your network!

The security of your network and confidential information is critical to your organization’s health, productivity, and profitability.

 

Worried that your data is vulnerable to attacks? That’s where we come in! Security is our #1 priority for our clients. We will run a comprehensive assessment on your current system, and create a protection plan that suits your business needs.

Learn more about our comprehensive security assessment >>>