Protection Against Phishing and Ransomware

Protection against phishing and ransomware attacks

Now we know what cyber threats are capable of and where they come from, let’s take a close look at how to protect your systems from two of the most common forms of cyber attack – phishing and ransomware. 

Protect your business against phishing attacks  

Phishing is an attempt to trick you into giving access to your system or files by pretending to be a person or organization you know and trust. Phishing attacks aren’t particularly difficult to defend against in comparison with other forms of cyber attacks. You have to learn to determine whether a website, email, or link has come from a legitimate source. More importantly, you need to train your employees to be vigilant. It just takes one mistake to inadvertently give a cybercriminal access to your files. 

  1. When you receive a link – always verify the URL of the that site against what you know to be the legitimate one. It may be off just by one letter. If they don’t match, under no circumstances should you click the link. Instead, type in the url you know to be correct or contact that organization to determine if what was sent is legit.
  1. If you feel even slightly suspicious, think! You should never reply to an email that even remotely feels wrong. If you wonder why this person would be sending you this message, or something doesn’t quite add up, trust your instincts. To check whether the sender is who they say they are, send them a new email using the address you know to be accurate to verify it. 
  1. Use the privacy settings provided on social media to keep personal information hidden. They are there for a reason – why do people you don’t know need to know your address, phone number or who your friends are? In fact, why do your friends even need to know your exact address? The more guarded you are with your information the less likely it will be used against you. 
  1. Use anti-phishing software. There are many versions on the market, and all are able to prevent users from accessing malicious links and websites by activating pop-up warnings and preventing malicious emails from ever even reaching you. 

The best piece of advice you can give your team when navigating emails is to take a step back and think about what they are doing. Phishing emails – as well written as some are – usually stick out from the bunch, so taking your time to consider your next course of action will be the best way to avoid becoming a victim. 

Protect your business against ransomware attacks 

Ransomware is the crime of encrypting your files so you cannot access or read them until you pay a ransom to get them back. Cyber criminals are increasingly using ransomware as their preferred method of attack, as it has a very high success rate and is extremely profitable. With ransomware, prevention is the approach, not a cure. As you know, there is unfortunately no way of guaranteeing that you won’t be attacked, but there are ways to protect your business, and even get your files back without paying the ransom.

  1. Operate your system on the latest versions – cyber criminals usually have a proficient level of technical prowess, allowing them to exploit the weaknesses in your out-of-date and/or poorly maintained technology.  
  1. Be wary of email attachments and embedded links – you should never open any attachments or links unless you are certain the source is legitimate. The ransomware attacker will try – similarly to phishing attackers – to persuade you to click a link or reply to an email. 
  1. Never – under any circumstances – should you pay them! You’ll feel compelled to pay because they’ve essentially shut down your business. But you have to remember, you’re dealing with criminals. There is zero guarantee that once paid, they’ll return your files uncorrupted or at all.  
  2. Get reliable cloud-based backup and disaster recovery services. If an attacker is able to get through your security system to encrypt your files, an excellent off-site backup system will be your best friend after a ransomware attack. mPowered IT provides advanced backup solutions to mitigate the risk and get your business back online with as little damage as possible.

It’s so important to provide your team with the education they need to navigate your cyber landscape safely – if they know the most common ways that cyber criminals will attempt to attack the system, and their role in the defense of it, your organization will be able to stand strong against cyber attacks

mPoweredIT – Ensuring You are Cyber Secure 

mPoweredIT is your go-to proactive partner for keeping IT systems secure and defended. We never leave things to chance or wait for a problem to arise – predicting and preparing for the threats of tomorrow will help ensure your valuable data is protected and your business continuity maintained. Contact us today and see how we can help you.