Ransomware – What it is and how to prevent it

Put simply, Ransomware is a method of encrypting all the files on your computers and servers, that then holds you to ransom to pay a fee, often in BitCoins, to the attacker, in order to obtain the decryption keys to get your files back. These attacks use dynamic code, making them increasingly difficult to detect.

So what can you do to stop it?

The first thing you can do is train your staff on internet based scams and how to avoid them. These can be anything from hacked links on a web page to fake emails with attachments or links to infected websites. Most of these attacks appear to be carried out by fake emails, otherwise known as Phishing attacks whereby the perpetrator pretends to be someone they’re not, sometimes faking the email address so you think it is from someone in your company. They can send you an attachment which can be a Word or Excel document or a zip file which is infected with a malicious script. Once opened, this script can inspect your system type, then remotely download the tools and encryption keys to do the real damage to your system.

“It’s ok, we run anti-virus, we should be safe enough!!” is the common thing people think. I can safely say, it’s not.

Gone are the days where a single method of removing malicious virus and malware was enough. Hackers are smart and are always trying to stay ahead of the Anti-Virus companies.

This is where we, at Leaf are continually looking at new technologies. We are starting to roll out a multi-endpoint managed Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware solution that can fight malicious traffic that has managed to enter your network. We have discovered that even those that claim to have the best endpoint solutions are not always able to deal with every threat.. and openly admit to it!! We are using best in class email security and anti-spam solutions in the hope that we can block an attack from happening. We offer local and cloud based backups as well as disaster recovery replication and the awareness training that is vital in protecting your business. This is only part of what we do, so give us a call and see if there’s anything we can help you and your company with. It can’t hurt.