HELP!!? … How to prevent ransomware attacks

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In light of what can arguably be said to be the hottest topic on the minds and tongues of most business owners and IT personnel: “Ransomware” the team at AgileCloud have put this article together to help those in need.

Most people assume that their industry or organisation won’t be targeted. However, ransomware is everywhere, meaning you and your data are at risk.

The most recent display of this reality was that of the ransomware infection called Petya (released on June 27, 2017). Petya rapidly spread across the globe encrypting thousands of computers in a variety of industries including government, telecommunications, education, healthcare, transportation and manufacturing (yet more may still be affected).

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WannaCry was another of these global attacks, which occurred in May. The malware was deployed via a worm (coined Eternal Blue), predominately through e-mails with infected Excel attachments and targeted network administration tools.

The attacks amounted to an audacious global blackmail attempt spread by the Internet and underscored the vulnerabilities of the digital age.[1]

According to Microsoft, the cybercriminals enhanced the worm capabilities between WannaCry and Petya attacks, allowing the malware to move laterally across infected networks, giving attackers more control in a compromised network/environment

A recent study by IBM showed that ransomware has increased by 6 000% from a year ago.

We all know that ransomware is real – but what can be done to mitigate your exposure to the risk and potentially prevent attacks?

RecoveryVault (available from AgileCloud and CommerceQuest) has made the following suggestions that we feel needs to be shared with you:

* Have reliable systems, protocols and training in place to prevent infection.
* Train your staff to know what to do when an attack happens.
* Double (and triple) check all e-mail senders. Do not open or download suspicious links, attachments and files.
* Have a robust, up-to-date antivirus software and ensure all firewalls and software are regularly updated.
* Ensure that any Remote Desktop Protocols are turned off on all machines as this is what allows worms to move laterally.

Although, these tips are great preventative measures – the only thing that will ensure business continuity is an effective BACKUP solution. So, all this is and may sound great, but what is would the cure be – the only cure is and will always only be, effective:

Backup! Backup! Backup! Backup! Backup!

Considering these malicious more frequently occurring attacks, CommerceQuest urges you to chat to it about how it can help protect your companies most valuable assets – your data – and enable your business with continuity through these turbulent times.

AgileCloud – your silver lining is its way.

Editorial contacts

CommerceQuest SA
Alex Steyn
Sales Director
(+27) 82 558 1689
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Brendan Elario
(+27) 11 447 4701
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