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How to protect against Ransomware Cyberattacks Strikes

Protect Vital Data and Operations Against Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware has seized a prime position in global headlines. Major targets, such as the city of Atlanta or an Australian heart hospital, gain most of the attention. Cybercriminals, however, understand that business, government, and nonprofit operations on a smaller scale struggle to pay for defenses against attack.

Even worse, in the case of Atlanta, it appears that they had adequate protection, but the staff failed to maintain defense discipline.

Although major targets often fall victim, smaller operations can take measures to protect themselves.

What Is Ransomware and How Does It Work

 Ransomware “kidnaps” a computer system by installing a virus or other code-based device. It blocks access to a computer system and its data while simultaneously demanding payment. Though cybercriminals tend to release the system on payment, no guarantee exists that they will.

It also forms a small category within the much larger field of different malware varieties.

Ways to Protect Your Systems From Ransomware

Ransomware has seen noteworthy “successes” against high-value targets. That does not indicate that smaller organizations will find protection impossible. By adopting expert-recommended precautions and engaging cybersecurity professionals to evaluate system defenses, any organization can reduce its risk.

Employee IT Training and Discipline

One of the most effective ways that cybercriminals open the doors to a secure system goes through an organization’s own staff.

Ransomware most often infects an organization through email “phishing” expeditions.  Most look suspicious on the surface, coming from unknown individuals or questionable looking addresses.

Other times, a more diligent cybercriminal might create a mock account featuring an organizational leader.  Some American colleges, for example, have seen their presidents’ names used as cover for malware attacks.

Staff should receive specific training on maintaining IT discipline to prevent their business emails accounts from being used as the gateway to an organizational headache.

Vulnerability Scans

These examine a computer system to check for vulnerability points where an intruder or their malware can enter and cause problems.  They also suggest improvements while also assessing the potential effectiveness of countermeasures.

Experts can run two separate types of scans.  An unauthenticated scan takes the point of view of a system outsider. It assesses a system’s protections against outside attack.

Authenticated scans measure from the point of view of someone with access to the system. These can be staff who have malevolent intentions or outsiders who have breached the computer system or the physical plant.

Penetration Testing

Also known in the industry as a “pen test” penetration testing works more aggressively than scans of any type. In this form of testing, an agent poses as a cybercriminal launching an attack. He or she conducts reconnaissance, scans the targeted system, breaches to obtain access, establishes a presence in the system, and then uses results to suggest changes.

Reach Out Today

Learn more about the dangers posed by ransomware attacks and how you can better defend your vital systems and data. Let us work with your organization to take the risk out of working online.

Interactive Security can be reached at ~ 267-824-2500 or on the web at www.intactsec.com

Interactive Security, Inc. has been at the forefront of providing industry leading expert information technology security services to clients across the globe – focused on IT Security Auditing & Compliance.

We pride ourselves on Making ~ IT COMPLIANCE OBTAINABLE, SIMPLE AND AFFORDABLE.

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