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How to Protect Your Business Against Ransomware

Ransomware is fast becoming a universal security threat for businesses of all shapes and sizes. In fact, it was the fifth biggest threat to businesses in 2017, as we saw cybercriminals turning their attention towards enterprises.

Written by Courtney Farrow

June 2018

Don't be held to ransom by your data.

In short, ransomware is a piece of software that is downloaded or installed on a device, which encrypts and ‘steals’ the data on that machine. The user is then asked to pay a sum of money – a ransom – in exchange for the return of the information.

With many businesses storing crucial data belonging to both customers and suppliers, they are a juicy target when it comes to this type of crime.

Not only is losing data and funds obviously detrimental to companies but from 2018, UK businesses are liable to pay a fine of up to €20 million (or 4% of their annual turnover) if they do suffer a data breach. Although it’s impossible to totally prevent a ransomware attack, there are a few things you can do to decrease your risk.

Antivirus.

An often overlooked way to shield yourself against ransomware, antivirus plays a vital role in keeping your data and organisation protected. A quality software is centrally-controlled and sends out notifications to the right people when a breach occurs so that immediate action can be taken.

Typically, business-grade software frequently updates its signatures and definitions of malware and other threats, ensuring that you stay ahead of the game and protected from emerging risks. We recommend AVG, ESET, Kaspersky and Webroot.

If you’re wondering which antivirus program is right for your company, check out our blog post that compares free consumer software with business-standard products.

Backups.

Backup versions of your data act as the last line of defence against ransomware attacks. However, they should be one of the first things that you implement.

Think about it. If you have information backed up – even if it is encrypted – you can be back up and running again within a relatively short period of time.

We recommend using the 3-2-1 method to backup files:

  • 3. Make three copies of your data.
  • 2. Use two types of storage device.
  • 1. Keep one backup copy offsite.

Find out more in-depth detail about how to execute 3-2-1 backups in this article.

Staff training.

When it comes to protecting your business from online threats, it’s largely down to education and awareness.

By keeping them up to date with the newest malware attacks and arising dangers, you can reduce your chances of becoming a cybercrime victim.

In the meantime, preparing your team to be ready to react to a breach can mean minimal impact on your organisation if disaster does strike.


If you do require more guidance on avoiding a ransomware attack, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.

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