Don’t Be Held To Ransom Over Your Own Data
Ransomware attacks are the new scam of choice for covert cyber criminals. You may already have already come under attack or know someone that has. But the crypto malware hackers are prolifically distributing, can wreak havoc on your computer network, with attacks in the UK on the rise. These voracious viruses don’t care if you’re a Mac devotee or a Windows stalwart. One-man band or national chain. These hackers don’t discriminate. This is war.
If you fall foul of a ransomware attack, the unlucky saga will play out something like this:
A ransomware Trojan will creep onto your computer system and unload its infectious crypto malware. This will encrypt all your data and documents on your PC and any other computers on your network that it can get access to, leaving them inaccessible. It will hide in plain sight so most victims will not be aware they are under attack until it’s too late. Once the Trojan is finished scrambling your data, it will slink out of the shadows and inform the user that their files are encrypted and to get them back they must pay hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
Online security company Malwarebytes recent survey found 54% of UK businesses had been targeted by a ransomware attack.
“Ransomware is a growing threat worldwide,” said Guardian Tech Journalist Alex Hern.
“Ransomware and crypto malware are rising at an alarming rate and show no signs of stopping,” Raj Samani, European technology head of Intel Security told the BBC earlier this year. In fact, if you rely on technology for your day-to-day business processes, then you, unfortunately, could be a target.
But we’re not just writing this just to scare you. There are several things you can do to protect your data from a ransomware Trojan attack, some of which you may already be doing.
Back up your data daily!
Create a backup of all your files and store it away from your network. Then if your network is attacked, you have all your data ready and waiting to be restored. But make sure to back up regularly otherwise you will lose any recent work.
Regularly check your back-ups
Whether you’re backing up to another server or a cloud-based solution, make sure it’s ok and that no unchecked errors have damaged your files when they’ve been uploaded. We have had clients that think their data is being backed up but when they come to use it they have found that the back up’s have been failing.
Update your software
Cyber criminals thrive on targeting outdated software with known vulnerabilities. It’s a game of cat and mouse between software developers and hackers. But by having the latest software updates in place, you can significantly reduce your chances of being attacked. If you have Clik Cover, you’ll automatically get all the latest updates of our software.
Be wary of phishing emails
A simple and very common way for the cyber criminals to infiltrate your computer is through dodgy links in spam emails. Combat this by updating your antispam settings and never open attachments or click on links from an unknown sender, be cautious even from someone you know, as the cyber criminals are making their emails look pretty genuine. If it sounds too good to be true…
Use a robust antivirus program
Make sure you have anti-malware and a software firewall in place to prevent your private information leaking out and any nasty cyber-bugs from creeping in. This should prevent viruses invading your computer or minimise their effects if they do slither in.
If something looks dodgy, cut off your internet
If you find a suspicious or unknown process running on your machine, cut it off at the source and turn off your internet connection. If the dodgy looking process is ransomware, it may not have encrypted all your files yet, but this isn’t full-proof.
Don’t pay the ransom!
If you are one of the unfortunate 54% in the UK who fall under a ransomware attack, and your security measures don’t hold up; it’s important you don’t pay the ransom. As tempting as it may be, particularly if the ransom is not very much, you will be fuelling this illegal business. There is also no guarantee these criminals will unencrypt your files even once you pay.