Mon, April 4, 2016

Prevent Ransomware From Corrupting Your Data

You’ve probably read about the latest malware to hit local and national businesses.

The Locky Virus is a form of malware known as ransomware. By opening the wrong file attachment, or even the wrong website, files on your network become encrypted. To get your data back, you can pay a ransom to get your files decrypted (this can be in the thousands of dollars, and it is not guaranteed), or you can restore your files from a backup (provided it is reliable).

Either way you are facing downtime and considerable inconvenience and expense. Ransomware infections can be limited and sometimes prevented when Corporate IT, and all employees, follow a few best practices.

Centrality’s Director of IT, Joseph Conklin, and Cloud Services Manager, Steven Cox, provided their expertise and recommend our clients look closely at the following steps:

Be very cautious about opening any file attachment in an email.

  • If you open a file attachment or a link to a website and are prompted to click Yes or OK to anything, the best course of action is to do nothing until either you call the sender or check with a Network Administrator or IT Provider.
  • For the Locky virus in particular, even if you think the file is safe, do not “enable macros” if prompted but stop immediately and contact your Network Administrator or IT Provider.

Use an antivirus solution that is constantly updated and able to perform active scanning.

  • Ensure Virus Definition Files are updated regularly.
  • Ensure a password is required for your users to Uninstall the Antivirus program.

Centrality’s Managed Antivirus Solution is able to block an application based on its behavior. It also has the capability to perform Web Content Filtering to block access to websites that are Categorized as Dangerous or Illicit (these settings are configurable).

Ensure your Data Backup Solution is reliable, so data can be recovered in case of corruption.

  • Ensure that backups are stored offsite. Centrality’s Managed Cloud Backup is already offsite, with no intervention required. This not only enables a Disaster Recovery plan, but it also prevents viruses from possibly infecting Backups. Cloud Backups preclude the need to manually manage media rotation, which is subject to human error.
  • If you are backing up to onsite media, ensure regular rotation and storage offsite. Centrality’s Managed Backup can also operate within this model.
  • Ensure that IT Personnel are checking your backups. Centrality’s Managed Cloud Backup includes Monitoring & Management. This service can also be provided with our online media rotation model. A key part of Centrality’s Monitoring & Management Service is regular test restores of data.

Follow Safe Internet Practices.

  • You can do this by not visiting questionable websites, not clicking links or opening attachments in emails from uncertain sources, and not providing personally identifiable information on public chats rooms or forums.
  • Web Content Filtering, whether as part of Centrality’s Managed Antivirus Solution, or our Managed Perimeter Appliances, can provide policy-based web blocking as well as Virus Protection.

Implement / enable Ad-Blocking capacities in browsers and having a Business-Class Anti-Spam Filtering Solution.

  • If you have Microsoft Exchange email server you especially need protection against spam, which is a huge source of viruses.

Contact Centrality today for more information on our preventative and proactive Managed Services offerings.

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