7 Ways to Prevent a Ransomware Attack

Imagine you come into the office for work. You go about your routine as you usually do: Unlock the doors, grab a cup of coffee and pastry for breakfast, then go start up your computer to check your email. But this time, your computer doesn’t start up as it normally does. Instead, you see a message saying that all the files on your computer have been encrypted and you can only get them back if you pay $5,000 in Bitcoin. If you don’t do pay the ransom within a week, all your files will be destroyed.

Soon after, John from accounting calls and says he’s having the same problem. It’s not just you, all of the files on your network have been infected with ransomware. Your first thought is to contact the local police. They tell you to call the FBI. After contacting the FBI, they tell you they can’t do anything to recover your files. You’re left with 2 options:

  1. Pay the $5,000 ransom and hope the hackers will keep their word (in most cases they don’t)
  2. Call your IT pro who says, “Don’t worry, all your backups are current. You didn’t lose any files and we can get you up and running within an hour.”

Hopefully, your answer is number 2 and you can breathe a sigh of relief and get back to work as soon as your backup plan gets started.

These days, ransomware is more common than ever. Despite common belief, ransomware is more common in smaller companies compared to large ones. The reason is smaller companies are easier targets for hackers. Smaller companies have less security in place than large companies that have heavy fortifications like banks and big corporations. According to Time magazine, cybersecurity experts estimate that several million attacks occur in the US also every year. And that figure is only going up.

How to Prevent Ransomware from Happening to You

Ransomware is actually something every business can prevent. All it takes is having a solid backup plan. If you have your data duplicated properly to multiple locations, your data will be fool proof from any type of attack. Here are seven ways to prevent a ransomware attack or any other cyber attack.

  1. Follow the 3-2-1 Rule: This means make 3 copies of your data, store them in 2 different locations, and backup at least once per day.
  2. Cheap is Not Always Better: Getting a cheap server or backup that merely meets your needs now is the first step to losing your data. Saving a few hundred dollars in the short term can cost you thousands of dollars later. Getting features like redundant power supplies and hot spare disks can save you money.
  3. Reduce Human Error: Often times, you don’t know a backup didn’t work until it’s too late. This happens the most when you copy data to an external drive or to tape. Automate the backup process wherever possible and make sure the people doing it actually know what they are doing.
  4. Regularly Check and Monitor Backup Software Settings: Sometimes, when you upgrade the software or apply updates, there can be a change in the settings that will cause incomplete backups. Insist on having your backups monitored 24/7 so a problem can be found and fixed as soon as possible.
  5. Ensure critical files are backed up: As your company grows, so does your data and how it is organized. Sometimes in the fog of growth, files can be misplaced or left off the backup list. Talk to your backup management team on a quarterly or annual basis to make sure your essential files are backed up.
  6. Don’t ignore network issues: A network issue is not only bad for productivity. It can cause problems in the backup process as well. Anything from the switch to internet connection could cause your backups to fail.
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help: You don’t need to be an expert at technology. Even though technology is the backbone of your business, your time can be spent better on reading up on industry trends and focusing on growth. Outsourcing your technology helps your business gain a team of experts that are knowledgeable, skilled, and stay current on the latest IT issues.

Find Out the Weak Points of Your Backup Recovery Plan

If you want to protect your company that you worked so hard to build from the ground up, a Data Recovery Review can reveal serious flaws that can lead to costly data loss, loss in customer trust, costly lawsuits, and more. Visit http://bdsnow.com/contact-us/ or call Business Data Services at 913-239-0368 before March 31st, 2018 for a FREE Data Recovery Review (a $397.00 value).

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