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October 30, 2016

Ransomware: IT’S FREE MONEY…just not for you.

Remember that feeling when you were a kid, when you looked down on the ground and a found a dollar? That’s what ransomware is for hackers, except when they “look down” they find hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars from unsuspecting businesses who have decided to open an infected email or website.

Ransomware is one of the most popular virus forms on the market and it’s only getting worse. The reason being, is that the hackers make easy money of its infected victims. When it infects the computer, it encrypts files on the hard drive it starts on, as well as all network drives it’s connected to, making them totally unusable until you have paid the hacker in exchange for a digital “key”. Even then, it may not unlock all the files. It’s typically a complicated and scary process for even seasoned IT professionals, but even more so for the average user. Since it’s not guaranteed to work, you can’t bank on paying the ransom as your “recovery process”.

To have the best chance at protecting yourself from a ransomware infestation, it takes a multi-layered approach. First, your employees are the biggest threat, bar none, and need proper training. They are the gatekeepers to your network and the ones that click/browse/share the start of the virus. Next, you need a good firewall implementation, closing all but the essential ports needed for your network infrastructure. From that point on, there are other various pieces to put in place to help protect you, including antivirus and anti-malware products depending on the level of security you would like to implement. Above all else, make sure you have multiple backups in multiple places to help add to your disaster recovery preparation.

A professional disaster recovery/backup plan gives you a better chance against infection, and if infected, gets you back up and running faster, saving yourself time and financial burden. If you’re not sure you’re protected from a disaster like this, or need help with your preparation, we can help!

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