Jackson County, Georgia was recently infected with ransomware that shutdown IT systems for over two weeks.
Struggling to recover, local officials paid a $400,000 ransom to access and restore their systems. While the FBI is investigating the attack, a relatively new strain of ransomware called “Ryuk” is likely behind the attack and was probably delivered through a phishing email.
Ransomware can quickly shut down an entire business. The good news is you can protect yourself and render ransomware completely ineffective. Here are some ways to protect your organization.
- Install software patches in a timely manner.
Outdated operating systems and software are vulnerable to ransomware attacks.
- Perform regular and comprehensive backups.
The 3-2-1 backup strategy is the gold standard and requires at least 3 copies of your data, 2 copies on different media types (USB, external hard drive, cloud, etc.) and 1 copy offsite. Prioritize your information. Ask yourself, what information is most important to the operations of the company? What is the harm if this information was lost? Start with the most important information.
- Train your employees to spot phishing emails.
Be careful when clicking on links in emails, even if the sender appears to be known. Avoid opening attachments or Office documents from unknown sources. When in doubt, ask your IT department before responding to any suspicious emails.
Ransomware can be devastating. But its effects can be neutralized if you have up-to-date and easily accessible backups. Importantly, practicing restoring from backups should be part of your organization’s incident response plan so that when the time comes, restoring from backups is almost second nature.