It was a simple ultimatum: If Advantage Benefits Solutions didn’t pay off a group of information bandits within 72 hours, it would lose access to all of its vital files and data. Already crippled by the temporary theft of information, the owner of the small Houston, Texas, firm reluctantly paid the ransom.
Sadly, this sort of crime against business networks is on the rise. In 2014, according to tech security company Symantec, there were 900 instances of hackers holding data hostage–double the 2013 rate.
Given the increase of ransomware attacks, you need a strategy for defending your files against one of these debilitating events. Malware prevention is a great place to start. Educate your employees about the many ways harmful code can, in seemingly innocent ways, infiltrate your system and take hold of your precious records. Another helpful step is to engage a savvy partner whose experts are fluent in preventing ransomware attacks.
Three Lifehacks to Keep Malware Off Your System
Ransomware is one of the more recent programs hackers can unleash on your firm’s computer network while you’re busy making an honest living. Here’s how to fortify your operations against this threat.
- Inoculate yourself against infection. If you lack a records management policy, work with a trusted partner to devise clear guidelines for employees’ handling of documents and electronic data. A knowledgeable partner can also help you implement data encryption practices and install sturdy firewalls.
- Send your records on a road trip. What’s the best defense against a ransomware demand? More than anything else, it’s the assurance of knowing that your business would still have what it needs to function, even without network access. Look for a partner that can offer automatic file backups to remote data centers and secure storage of your paper records.
- Get smarter about disaster recovery procedures. In addition to ensuring access to all your documents after a disruption, you should identify the records that would be essential to your company in an emergency (such as invoices and accounts payable). Maintaining a log of vital documents can help your trusted information partner get you the documents you need most after a ransomware attack.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals are always devising new ways to profit illegally from business data. Even if you can’t anticipate the next online scam, you should take every possible precaution to protect your company’s critical information. Thankfully, the right partner can put its experts to work at matching and exceeding hackers’ devious creativity with their own superior safeguards.