Top ransomware solutions to protect your business against an attack

By Jennifer Goforth Gregory, on

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The FBI recently revealed that ransomware attacks are rapidly increasing, with more than 4,000 attacks each day beginning in January 2016 compared with 1,000 attacks per day in 2015. Though there are some ransomware solutions, stopping these types of attacks is not easy.

A Malwarebytes study found that almost 40 percent of businesses were attacked by ransomware in the past 12 months, with one-third of those attacked losing revenue. Some 20 percent of the businesses were completely shut down for a period.

In a ransomware attack, network files are typically infected in the same way they’re struck by a virus — by being downloaded when the user visits an infected website. The file owners are then notified that for the files to be restored, a ransom must be paid within a set time. Because getting your files back can be challenging — and the FBI has recommended against paying that ransom — the best defense is to prevent an attack from happening in the first place.

The following are five ransomware solutions to protect your hardware and mobile devices:

1.Practice basic internet safety

The first line of defense against ransomware is following safe cybersecurity practices, such as using strong passwords, installing antivirus software, installing all system updates, not clicking on unknown links and not downloading files from insecure sites. Be sure that all employees follow the same practices for mobile devices accessing the network as well. These precautions will help prevent cybercriminals from being able to access your network to install the ransomware files.

2. Train employees how to respond to an attack

One of the most challenging features of ransomware is that employees are often the ones to discover the attack. What’s more, the first moments after the incident starts are often the most critical. Train all employees to immediately remove from the network any computer or mobile device that appears to be infected. Be sure to also disable wireless capabilities. If an infection appears to be in progress, immediately power down the machine or device. Instruct employees whom they should notify at your company if they suspect an attack is underway, and have a rapid response protocol in place.

3. Store a network backup in a separate location

If your company has a very recent backup of files, ransomware is significantly less of an issue. Many companies think they are safe with a cloud backup. However, some ransomware attacks actually infect any file connected to the network in any way, including cloud backup. The safest solution is to store a backup offline and to back up as often as possible.

4. Flag emails with .exe attachments

Ransomware often comes in the form of an email with an .exe attachment. If the file is opened, the virus begins downloading and infecting the files. Because files with this extension are not typically sent through emails for business purposes, this is an easy way to weed out potential threats at the network level without relying on employees to practice perfect cybersafety.

5. Keep up-to-date on current ransomware schemes

Cybercriminals are trying to stay one step ahead of ransomware prevention by creating new versions of the virus. It’s essential to stay current about which strategies and techniques are now being used so you can make sure you are taking all necessary precautions.

By implementing safety measures and working to prevent ransomware attacks, your business can hopefully avoid the devastating effects of this cybercrime.

About The Author

Jennifer Goforth Gregory

B2B Content Marketing Writer

Jennifer Gregory has been writing professionally for over 20 years and specializes in big data analytics, cloud computing, personal finance, B2B, small business management, hospitality, Health IT, credit cards, marketing/social media, content marketing, retirement planning and insurance. Her clients include IBM, Adobe, Samsung, Microsoft, Allstate, American Express, Ameriprise, Genworth, State Farm and Intuit. Jennifer lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. Jennifer's work has been published in a variety of print and online publications including, Entrepreneur.com, Atlantic.com, Success Magazine, FOX Business, MSN Money and the Raleigh News & Observer newspaper. She is a self-professed "content marketing nerd" and loves to help other writers launch their content marketing writing businesses through blogging and speaking around the country on content marketing. Jennifer has a masters degree in Technical Writing with a specialization in Technology and worked at both IBM and Arthur Andersen.

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