What is it and How Can you Protect Yourself from its Attack? 

Ransomware Definition: 

Ransomware is a form of malware whereby hackers compromise your sensitive data and information. For you to gain access to your information again, the hackers will then try to extort money from you, by demanding a ransom, hense the name “ransomware”. 

How Ransomware Works: 

The most common ransomware attacks occur by tricking the user into clicking an infected popup, sending a ‘phishing’ email or by visiting an infected site. If you do not pay their ransom, they may threaten to delete your information or data. 

How to Protect Yourself: 

Follow these steps to help protect yourself and prevent hackers from accessing your information. 

  1. Educate yourself and your employees on recognizing ‘phishing’ attempts. There are campaigns you can participate in, such as “KnowB4”. KnowB4 provides proactive awareness and training for employees using simulated phishing and training campaigns to strengthen the last line of defense in an organization 
  1. Use a Spam Firewall, such as Barracuda. This will help block ransomware attacks by securing your network, emails and web-traffic. 
  1. Enable a popup blocker. This helps prevent you or someone with access to your computer, from clicking on an infected link. 
  1. Backup your data often. Best practice is to be diligent about backing up files with important or sensitive information using the 3-2-1 approach. This means you keep three copies of your data, two backup copies, usually on tape and disk, and finally one offline copy. 
  1. Only download email attachments from trusted sources. If you do not recognize the email address, it would be safe practice to not open the email. 

Ways to Remove Malware from your Computer: 

If you suspect your computer has been compromised, follow these steps: 

1. Reboot your Windows 10 to “safe mode” 

2. Scan your system to find the ransomware program 

3. Restore your computer to a previous state – use your backup! 

Ransomware is common, and by knowing how to recognize it and doing your part to protect yourself and your company from its attacks, your information will be safe. 

If you have any additional questions about ransomware or would like to know more about preventative measures, give us a call and we would be more than happy to have a conversation with you! 

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