October 13, 2016

Protect Yourself Against Ransomware Attacks!

What is Ransomware?

As Wikipedia states “Ransomware is computer malware that installs covertly on a victim’s computer, executes a cryptovirology attack that adversely affects it, and demands a ransom payment to restore

Ransomware programs are created purposefully to encrypt all data on a computer and restore the settings once the user pays an amount to the attacker. Yes Extortion!

How does Ransomware attack a computer?

Internet browser usage and emails are an unavoidable and necessary means of communication in any business. All ransomware attacks use these channels to infect the end user’s computer without them realising until it’s too late. To make it simple, let’s say the attacker sends an email to a user who is not technically capable of understanding if the email is genuine or not.  The email may appear in your inbox just like a regular email from a well-known company or institution, giving the impression that the email is from a trusted source.  For example, the email may state that it is being sent by your bank and they require you to open the attachment or click on the link to verify your email address or login details. In other cases of similar attacks, there may be an MS Word or MS Excel document attached with an instruction to open it. You may see a message like “This documents requires macros to be enabled”. In fact, when you enable the macros, the encoded application in the MS Word or MS Excel file will start running automatically and encrypt all of your files without you even knowing.

How do we defend against Ransomware attacks?

Our team of highly proficient security experts are aware of the risks associated with ransomware attacks. We have monitoring and security systems in place that will block potential attacks and prevent your business from becoming a victim of a ransomware attack.  We install trusted cloud based antivirus software such as Symantec End Point Security which ensures all virus and malware definitions are up-to-date and capable of blocking any suspicious attachments or any suspicious internet activities.  The monitoring service alerts our team in case of any activities of this nature.

In addition, using well know and trusted mail filtering services is essential, for any business intent on protecting themselves and their employees from similar types of attacks.

How can we assist with blocking Ransomware attacks?

Our support team closely monitors each client’s infrastructure and takes active measures to avoid these types of unwanted ransomware attacks.  Each client node is equipped with a local agent that monitors the system and connects to a cloud based console where we can view the real-time security status of every connected device. Our pro-active maintenance programme ensures that each computer and server is free of viruses and malware, as well as ensuring it is operating at it’s optimum performance level. For more information about our IT Support services and find out how we can assist with your daily protection programme, see our IT Support page.