5 tips to protect your small business from ransomware

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Ongoing hacks and breaches have pushed ransomware more and more into the public eye. Several groups have been found responsible for high-profile attacks against different companies in the past year alone.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

If you own a small business, you may think you are immune to these attacks; however, this isn’t the case as it has been seen repeatedly. Learning more about these attacks and ransomware containment is a must to help keep your business safe.  

Ransomware defined

Ransomware refers to a specific type of malware that hackers use to hold your system hostage. Usually, the software is installed on your system without your permission or knowledge. After it is installed, the software keeps you from accessing your programs or documents.

In most cases, ransomware will come with some type of ransom demand (as the name implies). Usually, the payment is requested in bitcoin or some other method of payment that is hard to trace. Hackers promise to return access to the system if you pay; however, they will not guarantee.

It is up to you to protect your business. Tips that will help you do this are found below.

Employee education

One of the most important aspects of your business’s cybersecurity is your employees. If your team uses the right cybersecurity practices, they will be much less likely to fall for an attack that may cause ransomware to be installed on your system. Now is the time to invest in employee education and be sure to provide ongoing updates as threats continue to evolve and change.

Ensure email safety

One of the most common ways ransomware gets into your system is through phishing emails. Hackers will send a message that claims to have a legitimate attachment included. The goal is to fool the user into downloading it. After it is downloaded, the files will install into the victim’s system, locking the files. Make sure you never open a suspicious email, particularly if attachments are included.

Never download something from an untrustworthy website

Hackers may also use illicit downloads to infect your system with ransomware. Some hackers install their ransomware on a website that claims to be a sought-after program or a video file. After they are downloaded, the files will install malware, such as ransomware, into your system.

Ransomware security hacker

Make sure your software is updated regularly

Buying quality software is important. This is a good step in preventing being targeted by hackers. However, you must make sure your software, even non-security software, remains updated. If there are vulnerabilities in your software, it can actually help a hacker get into your system and install the malware. When the developers of the programs find the vulnerabilities, they will release an update that patches it to make it more secure. Because of this, you need to make sure that you check regularly to see if updates are available for the software you are using. This will ensure your system remains secure.

Use a VPN

A VPN doesn’t provide direct protection for your business from ransomware, but it makes your connection more secure, which can help to prevent the possibility of an attack. Sometimes, hackers skim through your data via an unsecured connection. They can then use the data to gain access to your system.

With a reputable VPN, you have an additional layer of encryption with your connection. This additional security makes it harder to skim the data, making your system and business less of a target.

Protecting your business

As you can see, there are more than a few things you can do to help protect your business from ransomware attacks. Be sure to keep the information here in mind, as it will help keep your system and your business safe from attacks. 

What do you think about these tips for protecting your small business from ransomware? Do you use any of these methods already? Let us know on social media by using the buttons below.


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