Ransomware: Don’t Fall For It

Urgent Industry Information:

TTS strives to keep abreast of the latest industry threats. Currently, ransomware is dominating all discussion in the technology industry, as IT companies attempt to protect customers from being infected with ransomware, or race to restore entire networks worth of data after customers have been attacked. Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security have issued warnings about the ransomware, which disproportionately targets medical offices throughout the United States.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects a single computer and blocks all access to a victim’s network until a hefty ransom is paid to restore access. Victims of ransomware are unable to access anything on their networks- most notably, life-saving patient data. Medical offices are the easiest prey for ransomware because they depend so heavily on access to patient data. It is estimated that medical offices will continue to be the largest target of ransomware throughout 2016 and 2107.

Whether the victims of ransomware choose to pay the ransom or perform a total restore of the network, the biggest cost to businesses is the resulting down time and remediation costs, which can halt business operation and jeopardize both lives and sales.

Businesses across America are starting to recognize the almost inevitable threat of ransomware, but many do not know what steps are necessary to prevent and recover from a ransomware attack. With this in mind, TTS has created a few important tips to help protect against the threat that, according to Newsweek, cost businesses more than $325 million in 2015.

  1. Most importantly, DO NOT CLICK ON FOREIGN LINKS IN EMAILS. Ransomware is most often hidden in email links that appear to be sent from trusted sources. Even if the email is sent from a friend, family member, work, or the government, NEVER CLICK ON SUSPICIOUS LINKS.
  2. Make sure your office has the latest in firewall and antivirus technology. Although having good defense software will not prevent all ransomware attacks, this software helps in reducing malicious emails, webpages, and other dangerous threats that can contain ransomware.
  3. Invest in a solid e-crisis continuity plan. If a network gets infected by ransomware, the fastest and cheapest solution is to restore the network using a backup. Invest in nightly network backups to the cloud to ensure you can always work, even if something goes wrong.

Only businesses that have adequate prevention and continuity plans can survive a ransomware attack with minimized costs.

TTS can provide the latest defense software and network backups to any business, but the most important and most effective way to help prevent ransomware is to educate employees in suspicious email activity. Ultimately, only YOU can prevent ransomware. Remember, never click on suspicious links found in emails- even if those emails seem to be sent from someone you trust!