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How to protect yourself against ransomware

What is Ransomware?

First things first… What exactly is ransomware?

Imagine you come home one day and find that someone has changed all the locks on your house, and you can’t get in. This person then tells you that you need to pay them a certain amount of money, and only then will they give you the new keys to unlock your doors. But there’s a twist. They also threaten to publicly display or sell your possessions unless you pay an extra amount.

Ransomware is like this scenario but with your computer or device. It’s a type of malicious software that, once it gets onto your device, locks your files or the entire device. The person (or group) behind this software then demands money, usually in a digital currency, in exchange for unlocking your files or device. If you don’t pay, you might lose access to your files forever and face having your data released and sold for use by other criminals.

How do you protect yourself?
Firstly, visualize your business or household as a castle, it will help to provide a clearer understanding of the measures needed to fend off ransomware or intruders and why each step is crucial.
Step 1
Educate and Train Your People

Every person in your castle is like a gatekeeper. If even one gatekeeper is tricked, enemies (in this case, ransomware) can enter.

Action: Ensure that everyone, from the top executives to the newest members, knows how to recognize suspicious emails or links and protect their access passwords. Most ransomware attacks start by tricking someone into clicking something they shouldn’t. Training your people is like preparing your gatekeepers for an enemy’s tricks.

Step 2
Perimeter Controls

Now, consider a giant protective wall around your castle. This wall acts as the first line of defence, keeping out any threats that might want to harm your castle.

Action: These are your firewalls, anti-virus software, and network filters. They check incoming data, block suspicious activity, and sound the alarm if something seems wrong. Keeping them updated and robust ensures your wall is strong.

Step 3
Protect the Crown Jewels

The problem with a castle wall is that the enemy will eventually find a way in. So, what do you do with your precious jewels? Instead of leaving these treasures out in the open, you keep them in a hidden location and lock them in unbreakable safes. Even if enemies somehow get past your gatekeepers and through your walls, they still can’t find or access your most valued possessions.

Action: This is about backing up your data and encrypting it. Regularly save copies of your important files in a secure off-site place like Cryptoloc Cloud. If ransomware strikes, the criminals cannot use your data as leverage against you. You can access and restore your data from your Cloud without paying a ransom. Encryption adds an extra layer, making sure that even if someone does find your data, they can’t understand or use it.