8 Crucial Tips to Protect Your Business from RANSOMWARE ATTACKS
In this day and age when technological advances are rapidly progressing and producing astounding benefits, businesses are taking advantage of using electronic devices and being present online. Outstanding performances and outstanding results are achieved by enterprises with the help of the Internet and digital era’s prowess.
A lot of ventures today cannot function completely without their digital gadgets such as computers, laptops and tablets. Especially for startups in contemporary times and for businesses who have upgraded their facilities to match the current generation’s demands, this is very common.
How about you? Is your business relying on computers to serve your patrons? Well, that’s a big edge these days, and you surely will reap the great pros of the cybernated period if you execute your best efforts wisely!
But here’s something that you must be aware of and informed about. Since technology has tremendous perks to businesses, they also become a target of cyber attacks, and one of these damaging attacks is the ransomware.
By its name, you can already get a hint of what it is about. Ransomware attack is a type of malicious software wherein the attacker invades computers by completely locking computer systems or encrypting files with a password, so victims will not be able to access their own data. On the screen appears a notification that the owner has to pay a certain amount as a ransom to get a decryption key and gain back access to their important and confidential files. Ransomware attacks are specifically targeting businesses because of course, they knowingly carry substantial data in their operations and earn money through their services.
Many entrepreneurs think that the one and only way to retrieve padlocked files is to give the attackers the ransom they are asking for. It might be what you think, too, but unfortunately, there is also no assurance that your company will be able to recover hostaged data or reclaim system entry even after paying the ransom. The aftermath of ransomware attacks are absolutely destructive. That is why it is best for businesses to prevent getting victimized by them in the first place.
Read these 8 crucial tips for you to protect your business from ransomware attacks!
1 – DO NOT OPEN SUSPICIOUS ATTACHMENTS.
Emails are often used for formal business endeavors and communications. Many users trust everything they receive through emails because they seem fine, however, you must always be careful because even simple-looking messages can be traps that lead to ransomware attacks.
When you obtain email attachments that feel fishy, do not open them. Especially when they come from suspicious email addresses and names, never trust them. Scrutinize the senders’ details and confirm first if they are correct and appropriate. Be certain to keenly evaluate whether the content is trustworthy and harmless. Do not download unless you are sure. Consider messaging the sender for verification for your own safety.
Once you open and download infected files sent as attachments, the ransomware will be able to infiltrate your device, and the rest is horror.
2 – DO NOT CLICK ON MALICIOUS LINKS.
While some people don’t really care about clicking links anytime of day, links are among the most common entryways of ransomware attackers to computers.
Phishing emails with suspicious links may disguise as friendly email advertisements or advisories. Unsafe links may be received through social media platforms, text and chat messaging as well. Messages that proceed to the Spam folder may contain these suspicious links, so be cautious. You may have experienced this once or quite a few times, but downloads that start when you click on links is one of the techniques that ransomware attackers use to corrupt computer systems.
Clicking on misleading and malicious links paves way for ransomware risks. Even when the person sending it to you is someone you know or have contacted before, do not be complacent. Avoid tapping unsecured links you see from unfamiliar websites too.
When you are uncertain whether the link is intentionally sent to you by your friend or family member, or is an automated message they did not know they sent, it’s best to drop them a message, so you can double-check. If the mysterious link is sent through email or social media by strangers, be wise, and simply ignore it. It’s better to just be curious forever than to voluntarily step into misery.
3 – DOWNLOAD FROM TRUSTWORTHY WEBSITES ONLY.
Ransomware attacks begin when you start biting into their traps — in short, when you trust them, letting your guards down.
As it should, downloading starts only when you click a button to download something. When you have softwares that automatically download certain items or that allow automatic downloads offered by websites you enter in, be very careful, and consider disabling them.
Only permit media file downloads from websites you surely trust and those with tried-and-true credibility. Download from official online application stores for your software installations. Look for sites with “https” which indicates they are secure. You will also notice a lock symbol on the address bar that proves that the site is protected. These are among the major signifiers that the website you are visiting is guaranteed to be dependable.
4 – USE STRONG PASSWORDS.
Passwords must always be strong not only for your friends to avoid playing around your accounts but also and most especially for keeping your business data safe from hackers.
Dedicated attackers may cruelly bust open organization computers and accounts when passwords are weak and unreliable. This approach may be used to execute their primary aims of setting up ransomware. That exactly shows the seriousness of utilizing strong and distinct passwords for every gadget and account you use in your business.
5 – DO NOT LAY OUT KEY BUSINESS INFORMATION
There are times when ransomware attackers will obtain your crucial business details from you yourself, and you won’t even be suspicious.
The information you post publicly on your business social media pages can be used by them to formulate a strategy to access your systems. This is why it is also very essential to not post too much key business information online. Only if it’s inevitably necessary, do that.
Similarly, strange emails or calls from unknown personalities that request personal business information are not worthy of your time. Unless they and you prove that they are legit, do not freely hand them key details which will give them ideas on how to intrude your business’ computer systems!
6 – BLOCK POP-UPS.
Pop-ups may look harmless, but the truth is that they also act as a probable entranceway for cyber punks to dispatch their ruinsome ransomware attacks.
To hamper the unfortunate odds, equip your devices and systems with browser add-ons that function as pop-up blockers. These installations will shield and guard your business from pretentious pop-ups intended to launch ransomware attacks.
7 – TURN OFF UNUSED BLUETOOTH AND INFRARED PORTALS.
Believe it or not, open Bluetooth and infrared ports may also be taken advantage of by ransomware culprits. They wreak havoc on targeted business devices by manipulating the available Bluetooth connection. To prevent these ransomware cases, keep Bluetooth, infrared joints and wire-free networkings of your company switched off when not in use.
8 – BE CAREFUL OF INSERTING FLASH DRIVES.
One of the most typical ways viruses are transmitted from one digital device to another is inserting flash drives.
Always be mindful when you connect other people’s flash drives to your computers and when you insert yours to other people’s computers. Especially when you are not sure who owns the drives or where they were inserted before, do not recklessly attach them to your organization-owned systems.
You never know when cyber attackers might have injected the removable storage device with ransomware, so they can effortlessly penetrate your important data through your own hands.
NO TO RANSOMWARE
Intimidating and threatening users is what ransomware attackers are doing. Since businessmen cannot afford to have their pivotal data and central system intruded and infected, attackers target mainly that area. They use this to coerce them into paying them money or other means which can be considered “money” too.
Ransomware attacks are a nightmare to businesses as they are hugely maleficent in all ways. That’s why the best thing to do is not to wait for attackers to have their way penetrating into your digital systems.
Hope not though, but just in case your company gets victimized by ransomware, be prepared to do the known steps to remove ransomware, yet don’t expect a lot, too, since a decryption code is still necessary to regain full access and unlock files. On another note, you will be grateful to possess the business insurance called cyber insurance or cyber security insurance. It covers payment for ransom money, claims and costs to recover from liabilities caused by the attack and to hire experts to help.
Protect your business from ransomware attacks and their detrimental effects. Regardless if you experience it or not, you have the tough lead when you know what to do before, during and after encountering a ransomware attack. Be smart. Be wise. Be updated.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. She finds quality and well-researched writing as a worthwhile avenue to enlighten and delight others about things that matter. For her, it’s restoring and fulfilling to the heart and a great way to clear the mind while loading it up with fresh learning. Film critiquing and filmmaking are among her interests too. Giving all the glory to God, Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.