Cybersecurity has become a hot threat over the past few years, and it continues to grow, affecting small businesses, large corporations, national security, including our economy. Cyberattacks can range from phishing, scams, viruses, and malicious ransomware attacks. Attacks are just about everywhere. You would think a large corporation would use a multi-authentication system to help protect themselves, right? Think again. Colonial Pipeline is an example affected by ransomware through their VPN system that did not have a 2 factor log-in system. In this case, it caused widespread panic and fuel shortages throughout the east. Yikes.
In 2020, there had been 65,000 ransomware attacks. With more remote work, attacks are becoming more prevalent. It’s important for small businesses like us to prepare in advance and take precautions.
Make security a normal priority. In today’s blog post, you will discover 10 super-fast ways to protect yourself from ransomware.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is caused and led by cybercriminals who lock you out from your computer system. This means you will be locked out from all your content, personal information and data unless you pay the ransom they are asking. It sounds like something from a Jason Bourne film, but malicious ransomware attacks are pretty common today. If you’re a victim of ransomware, please don’t pay the ransom; paying the ransom does not mean you’ll get your data back. If you’re affected, and don’t have a backup plan, there is nothing you can do.
Who is affected by ransomware and how?
Anyone. Small businesses, large corporations, national security and the United States economy. Ransomware can come from an email holding malicious links and files, in addition to drive by downloads.
Can ransomware attack Microsoft 365, OneDrive and SharePoint?
In a nutshell, yes. For SharePoint, with the sync client tool, an affected file can indeed be synced. There are two main points of entry for Microsoft 365. An attack can occur by a malicious attachment or a link sent to the user’s email; clicking the link or opening the attachment will activate the ransomware. If you have a vulnerable system, an attack can also occur where a malicious network packet is sent to the user’s system, activating the ransomware. There are ways to Backup your Microsoft 365 data if ransomware hits you.
Here are 10 super-fast ways to protect yourself from ransomware
- If you haven’t already, install an antivirus program.
- Have a backup program in place that is not connected to your computer. These backup programs will do the job well: Carbonite and Mozy.
- Opt in for 2 factor authorization on your accounts. Multi-factor authorization means having a double (or triple) layer of protection for your account. Along with your created password, you must provide another verification like your phone number, which then sends you a code that will officially get you into the account. Bank apps, social media and companies use this, so it’s common and should be enforced as soon as possible.
- Store your passwords in an encrypted password keeper; passwords should vary and not be reused. In fact, use a 12+ character password or phrase.
- Set up user accounts with their own unique password and never share the main account password.
- Keep your OS updated and replace out-of-support OSes. The more out-of-support systems you have, the higher your chance of being affected. Update your Windows or Mac OS.
- Use a built in ransomware protection solution like NetApp Saas Backup for Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint.
- Protect identities. Use Microsoft 365 identity protection feature. This tool allows organizations to do 3 tasks like automating detection and investigating risks.
- Did you know you can be in control before your computer installs a program? Before a program is installed, it prompts you to confirm that installation by entering your user password. Enable this setting today.
- Give patches and updates for operating systems, as well as plug-in’s for applications.
Before you go—
Small businesses can be more vulnerable to hacks, ransomware and phishing, so plan ahead and have a disaster recovery plan. Don’t forget we’re to help you plan; call Weiskopf Consulting at 630-320-2991. Thankfully, there are many ways to protect yourself. Some are simple, and others may be a bit more complex, but it is worth it. Yes, your small business is worth it.
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Virginia Weiskopf, Personal Technical Guide
Over 20 years of expertise providing technical solutions that let you focus on your business.