There are technology solutions available that can stop Ransomware in its tracks. Intercept X is an anti-Ransomware solution that identifies unusual network activity that indicates a Ransomware attack, it then blocks the spread and reverts any files that have been affected back to their original state.
Ransomware is initiated by someone clicking a link or opening an attachment that then prompts the encryption of a PC and its contents. Ransomware can affect a range of devices from PCs and smartphones to a smart TV. Once the device and its contents are encrypted, users are shown a message from the cyber-criminals who request a payment in order to hand over the encryption key that will unlock the device. The ransom is usually a request for digital currency such as Bitcoin.
Hackers have a number of tactics to get people to pay up, including a deadline to pay or lose the data forever. It’s rare and very unlikely that files are ever decrypted and return to their owner, our advice is to not pay the ransom. Instead businesses are advised to protect their data with an anti-Ransomware solutions such as Intercept X.
Encryption is a way of making data unreadable by converting letters and numbers to symbols, for example a file such as a Word document or Excel spreadsheet can be converted to an unreadable code. An encryption key allows you to decode the document and revert it back to its original state. Encryption as a technology solution allows businesses to protect their data by only allowing access to employees who have the relevant encryption keys. Cyber-criminals also use illegal encryption to make your files unreadable following a malware attack such as Ransomware, the encryption key is promised upon the ransom payment.
Phishing is a catch-all term describing an email delivered with malicious intent. Phishing emails rely on those who aren’t aware of how dangerous so-called spam emails can be. Furthermore, with the introduction of social engineering, cyber-criminals are getting smarter when it comes to persuading people to action a malicious email. A phishing email could appear to be from a colleague or trusted partner, it could have an attachment or a malicious link. A solution such as Sophos Phish Threat simulates phishing emails to employees in order to raise awareness of malicious emails but also to train people on what to look out for such as a typo or change in domain that would indicate malicious intent.
Reports indicate that this fast-increasing threat will continue to grow. With the introduction of paid for services such as Ransomware-as-a-Service even the most untechnical criminal has the ability to launch sophisticated cyber-attacks with the aim of illegally extorting money. Email is by far the biggest vehicle for Ransomware. Malicious emails are the most common way to distribute Ransomware. Other sources include websites, social media and infected USB sticks.
Businesses cannot control the possibility of a cyber attack, however IT security solutions such as Intercept X can instantly recognise if malicious software is attempting to infiltrate a network.
It’s important for businesses to understand the size of the threat landscape and recognise the journey the data within their organisation takes. Data is stored in more places now than ever before, whether data sits on-premise, in the cloud or moved around via USB stick. Encryption is a key technology that can safeguard data, this ensures that no-one without the correct permissions can read an organisations information.
Malware is a catch-all term for every type of malicious software. You cannot stop people from trying to attack your organisation’s networks, but you can prevent the attack from causing lasting damage.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software from that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. While some simple ransomware may lock the system in a way which is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse, more advanced malware uses data encryption techniques to make the victims files inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them. In a properly implemented extortion attack, recovering the files without the decryption key is impossible – and difficult to trace digital currencies such as Ukash and Bitcoin are used for the ransoms, making tracing and prosecuting the perpetrators difficult.
A hacker is a cyber-criminal whose aim is to breach a company’s firewall in order to infiltrate an organisation’s network. Hackers often operate behind the scenes well hidden, which poses a big threat to IT security. Tools like Sophos XG Firewall offers unrivalled security for your business by blocking unknown threats and responding automatically to incidents.
Leased lines are used by businesses that need high speed reliable internet access 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing an assured high-performance service. They offer dedicated, unparalleled bandwidth ensuring that the maximum line speed is always available when required.
A leased line is a dedicated high-performance telephone connection that can carry voice, data and internet traffic. A leased line is always active unlike dial up connections.
Users can easily schedule when Datto backs up company data. A snapshot of your business data can be taken every hour if required. This information is stored in your on-site device which is then backed up to the Datto cloud. The frequency of backups needs to align to your business RPO – Recovery Point Objective, i.e. (how much data are you willing to lose) – from the points of your last back-up to when you had a disaster, as the gap is the amount of data you have lost.
A disaster recovery plan is a documented process and procedure that enables the recovery of critical IT systems and software. A well put together plan makes business continuity achievable, meaning your organisation can continue with business as usual, when a problem occurs.
Historically businesses have used a range of ways to back-up their business data, from tapes to USB drives. These methods aren’t guaranteed, continually tested, and can run into a lot of problems, from human error to lost hardware. Datto stores your data in two locations – on a local appliance and in the cloud and allows you to retrieve business-critical data quickly and efficiently allowing business continuity. The recovery time needs to be understand by your business and this is known as RTO – Recovery Time Objective, i.e. (how much downtime) – can your business suffer, before you may lose orders, reputation, money, etc.
Ultimately the mission-critical systems should take priority in your back-up plan to ensure you are able to operate at a functional level, for example ERP, CRM, NAV, etc. Though businesses should look to take a back-up of everything, taking intermittent snapshots so you are able to restore systems quickly in the event of a disaster such as a Ransomware attack, flood, fire etc.
Disaster recovery technology ensures that your organisation’s information, including business-critical data, is safe and securely stored out of harm’s way. It also means that in the event of a disaster, such as a flood, fire or cyber-attack, you are able to access data (files/systems etc.) quickly and get your business back up and running.