Ransomware is a malicious software that seeks out files on your computer and locks them, rendering them inaccessible, then cybercriminals demand money — a ransom — to unlock your files. Recently, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid out a $17,000 ransom to unlock its electronic medical records (EMR) system. According to official sources, the cause of infection was an email link that was clicked by a hospital employee on a computer that had access to the EMR system, which initiated the security attack.
How can you protect yourself from ransomware? There are three ways to best prevent such attacks from happening to your company:
- Regular file backups on a hard drive or in the cloud: A backup storage of your data can simply be restored and accessible if your computer does become infected.
- Minimize human error: Educate and train your staff about Internet best practices such as discarding unknown email links or attachments to prevent possible threats. Make your employees aware of the importance of network security. User education is your best line of defence in preventing attacks.
- Ensure you have virus protection and that it is up to date: Firewalls and anti-spam filters can help to protect mobile devices and computers across the enterprise. Remember that missing even one daily update can endanger your company because malware tools change on a daily basis.
Maintaining a solid security infrastructure and establishing a proactive strategy are keys in avoiding cyberattacks and data breaches.