Geeks throw around lingo. Business leaders’ eyes glaze over. In this series on small business technology, we’ll dispel the confusion and give you the secret decoder ring. Colorado Springs is a pretty tech savvy town, but sometimes small business IT services companies need to remember we are more than just geeks—we need to help you grow your business.
When it comes to small business IT security there’s no room for confusion, so let’s dive into “ransomware,” perhaps the most difficult form of malicious software, or malware to fix. So, let’s answer a few mystical questions:
- What’s ransomware, and how do I get rid of it?
- How do I prevent ransomware from getting locking of my files?
- Will my antivirus protect me against cryptolocker?
You’ve probably heard of “Cryptolocker,” which has begotten several copycats. These are examples of ransomware. Ransomware locks up files on your computer and forces you to pay a ransom. The coding behind ransomware is more sophisticated than traditional viruses, and often antivirus programs alone are unable to prevent an attack.
Bad stuff, hard to fix, best to avoid. Like most malicious software, their capabilities evolve very quickly. If you have files locked up and someone wants you to pay for the files, it’s best to contact an IT professional.
How do I get ransomware?
Ransomware often infects your business network through a hole you have in your security ring. It may come in through an intrusion onto your network through an open port in your firewall, or the firewall may be turned off. It can also come in through unsuspecting emails, usually from someone you don’t know—you’ve got it—spam.
What can we do to protect ourselves?
You’ll hear us talk about having security rings, or layered defenses to your critical business information. Here’s a quick checklist:
- Active and managed firewalls, such as a Sonic Wall, Check Point, or Watch Guard Firewall
- Advanced antivirus software that specifically targets ransomware, like Webroot Secure Anywhere
- Cloud based security systems to monitor threats on the internet, and traffic flowing to and from your network in order to prevent you from going to the latest threatening website
- Cloud based incremental disaster recovery and backup solutions
- Business grade malicious software mitigation tools, such as Malwarebytes Pro
- Proactive security, maintenance and monitoring services that make sure every computer on your network has the latest security patches to all your software and operating systems
Cyrptolocker, Cryptowall and all their spawning variants are rapidly morphing into new threats to your business security. Unless you want to pay some cybercriminal to unlock last year’s tax records, or your Quickbooks file, you should consider a proactive approach to network security. As always, we’re here to help Colorado Springs businesses thrive and making their technology a competitive advantage.