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What Is Ransomware & How to Protect Your Business

Your small business probably doesn’t worry much about cybersecurity, and that’s exactly why you’re a target. Imagine trying to log into your business’s computer or server only to find that your files have been taken hostage. You must either pay up or lose your data forever.

What Exactly Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is typically activated when someone clicks a link in a phishing email or downloads an email attachment. Once activated, it can take over a computer or even an entire network. Ransomware can also be delivered through security holes and infect a system without any action on the part of a user. Older, unsupported versions of Microsoft Windows are particularly vulnerable to ransomware and malware attacks. Even newer systems are vulnerable if they aren’t updated with patches for known security issues. As an example, the WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 hit thousands of users whose only mistake was missing a recent Windows update. Most businesses that are attacked experience significant downtime, resulting in lost revenue. You may also lose customers and potential new business.

How to Protect Your Business And Attempt to Prevent a Breach

Ransomware is a sneaky threat. The good news is, there's precautions an IT partner can take to help further protect you. It’s worth investing in antivirus programs and other basic security measures. Security measures your IT partner will take include:

  • Scanning computers with antivirus software on a regular schedule.

  • Configuring your firewall to prevent ransomware.

  • Training your employees on best practices, such as opening only trusted attachments.

  • Backing up your business data on a regular basis and storing it offline.

  • Keeping your operating system’s security patches up to date.

  • Filtering emails to prevent spam from reaching employees.

  • Limiting the number of administrative privileges given to employees.

  • Switching to two-factor authentication so a compromised password alone won’t give away your data.

There’s no question that small businesses are increasingly in the cross-hairs of cyber criminals. But you can lower the odds of an attack and prevent any lasting damage to your business if the worst does happen if you have the right security solutions, disaster recovery, and support in place.

(Source: Full Article)

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