A week after the NHS was knocked offline by the WannaCry Ransomware incident last Friday, systems appear to be getting back to normal so we thought we would share some handy tips on how to prevent this from happening to you, and what to do should it happen to you too.
Ransomware works by using built in tools within your operating system to encrypt all data and files on your computer. You can only then access these files by paying a ransom for a decryption key.
Keeping your system up to date can be a drag for some people. Unfortunately these updates are there for a reason and are used to keep your systems secure from potential threats. We recommend checking for and installing updates on a weekly basis as a minimum to ensure you are up to date. Some operating systems allow you to schedule this out of hours so it won’t affect your working day. If you still run Windows XP, we recommend you download and install this patch, released by Microsoft as soon as possible.
Having a reliable AntiVirus is vital for any machine that is connected to the internet. A reliable AntiVirus will scan every file that accesses your machine to ensure that it isn’t a threat, before allowing you to use it. Most modern AntiVirus software will get updates in real time preventing the latest threats as and when they make their way around the web. We’re also happy to report that our AntiVirus software blocked the WannaCry Ransomware from attempting to enter 6 of our customers machines!
Backup, backup and backup!
Data loss is becoming more and more common due to the lack of backups that people have in place. We believe in the 3-2-1 backup rule. This means 3 copies of all of your data, in at least 2 locations with 1 of them being an offsite cloud backup. Cloud backups are becoming more and more popular, and with the ever decreasing price in storage it’s more than easy to find a reliable cloud backup that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg!
Don’t trust it?
Don’t click it then! With E-mail taking over the business world for instant communication more and more viruses and malware is being spread than ever before. You may have seen the emails where DPD is needing you to sign the attached document or you have received a parking fine which is attached to this email. Sound familiar? Because the emails look realistic, people will generally click on the links or attachments which then leads to infected systems. Investing in an advanced email SPAM filtering system can help to prevent emails such as these from ever reaching your inbox. If you don’t trust it, then don’t click it!
What if my files are being encrypted?
If you have opened something that has started to infect your system then the best thing you can do to start with is turn your machine off and unplug it from your network. This will stop the encryption from spreading to any other devices that you are able to access on the network. Generally, once the encryption has started you can’t stop it, but you can prevent it from spreading to other machines. At this point it is best to wipe your machine and restore from a backup to clear all hints of Ransomware software. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a backup of your data then you will need to let the Ransomware finish it’s job and then pay the ransom to get your data back.
How can Affordable IT Help?
We offer a range of software and services that can help prevent incidents like this happening such as patch management software, antivirus solutions, backup solutions and disaster recovery. If you would like to see how we can help you, or if you would like us to take a look to ensure what you currently have is sufficient then please give us a call on 02380 000 770 or reply to this email.