Issue No. 107July 2021
Ransomware Avoidance Tips
We ran this article a few years back, but as ransomware attacks are growing in frequency we decided to highlight the contents of this article again.
The ransomware business model has turned out to be a lucrative industry for criminals. Over the years its ill repute has made law enforcement team up with international agencies to identify and bring down scam operators. Most of the ransomware attacks that focused on enterprise and SMB targets in the past have been linked to poor security practices by employees.
There are a few “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to ransomware.
- Do not provide personal information when answering an email, unsolicited phone call, text message or instant message. Phishers will try to trick employees into installing malware, or gain intelligence for attacks by claiming to be from IT. Be sure to contact your IT department if you or your coworkers receive suspicious calls.
- Use reputable antivirus software and a firewall. Maintaining a strong firewall and keeping your security software up to date are critical. It’s important to use antivirus software from a reputable company because of all the fake software out there.
- Do employ content scanning and filtering on your mail servers. Inbound e-mails should be scanned for known threats and should block any attachment types that could pose a threat.
- Do make sure that all systems and software are up-to-date with relevant patches. Exploit kits hosted on compromised websites are commonly used to spread malware. Regular patching of vulnerable software is necessary to help prevent infection.
- If traveling, alert your IT department beforehand, especially if you’re going to be using public wireless Internet. Make sure you use a trustworthy Virtual Private Network (VPN) when accessing public Wi-Fi.
- Do not plug in found flash drives or memory cards to determine their contents—this is a common attack vector for ransomware delivery.
- Do not allow untrusted individuals remote or physical access to your computer. If you’re concerned, contact your supervisor or your IT department.
- Do not provide password information via email. No software vendor, bank, IT department, or government agency will request your password via email.
- Do err on the side of caution. It is always better to open an ‘unnecessary’ ticket with your IT department than to compromise a corporate network by opening a malicious email.
Ongoing employee education is one of the most important means you have of protecting your environment from ransomware. Among the things we consistently re-iterate with our clients are simple things, like quarterly emails reminding all team-members not to click on suspicious links, open suspect attachments, or provide their password via email.
If you believe you’ve been a victim of a ransomware attack,
the first step for our clients would be to immediately contact us at:
858-952-5400 x 0 or [email protected]