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Are you prepared for the rising threat of ransomware?

November 28, 2016

Are you prepared for the rising threat of ransomware?

Written by admin

With almost 40% of UK businesses reportedly being targeted, ransomware threats are increasing. Organisations of all sizes are being attacked including universities and even NHS Trusts. How do you ensure your business keeps going when you are targeted by ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their systems. It does this either by locking the system’s screen or locking the user files. Information is usually, but not always, returned after the ransom is paid. The ransomware is delivered in various ways and often unspotted by the user coming via websites, clicking on links or emails.

Comic Relief was a recent victim. The ransomware put the Comic Relief servers out of action for 3 days, with employees not able to access Internet services, email or their files. It isn’t just high profile organisations that suffer though, no business is too small to be hacked.

At Atlas, we offer backup and disaster recovery services to help in the event of ransomware or other cyber-attacks. Many companies we speak to recognise the threats but surprisingly few are seemingly ready to set up comprehensive defences against them. What can companies do to tackle these types of attacks?

You should first assess the following three key factors; How sensitive is the data? How will your company profile be affected? Can you restore your data from another source? These factors may take time to consider which could cause problems if your company isn’t fully functioning in its day to day activities.

Prevention is the best defence. With various layered defences available such as firewalls, anti-malware and spam filters you can begin to lessen the threat. Vigilance is important, so staff training about the issue is critical with care taken over what emails and websites they open. Once the malware gets into your files, however, these measures become obsolete.

Backups and disaster recovery services are the most reliable method for recovering infected systems. If you have a second copy of your data held somewhere else and untouched, damage can be limited. The question then is how quickly you can restore the data safely. Being prepared to react, even having an outline of measures to be taken helps organise your response. Having a disaster recovery plan in place will ensure that you will not lose considerable amounts of time and money trying to recover when ransomware strikes.

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