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How to stay protected against ransomware

Last year, there was a 22% increase in cases of cyber crime reported by British businesses. Ransomware is a growing problem and one which can cause untold damage. The good news is that MWL Systems’, IT security experts, can help you take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your business from this growing threat.

When it comes to malware attacks our advice is to prepare and protect your systems, files and data.  The most important thing is don’t assume it won’t happen to you. Attacks can happen to businesses of all shapes and sizes and to individuals too.  It isn’t just large or well known companies that are targeted, in fact according to a recent survey from the Federation of Small Businesses 66% of small businesses have been a victim of some form of cyber crime in the last two years. 

What is ransomware?

There are different types of malware but most commonly ransomware encrypts files on a system’s hard drive so that the owner is then unable to access them. 

Access to the files can only be regained by paying a ransom to the attacker. There is usually a time-limit for ransom payments, sometimes the ransom will increase if the payment isn’t made within the timeframe, with other attacks there will be the threat that files will be destroyed if the payment isn’t made on time all adding pressure and stress to an already difficult situation.  

What can you do?

Here are some steps you can take to protect against malware and the minimise the impact of an attack.  

  • Back up your data, it sounds obvious but it is amazing how many people and businesses don’t carry out the regular backups that they should. Keep a backup copy off-line and at a different physical location.      
  • Keep your software up to date and ensure your employees do so too.
  • Install effective anti-virus software along with utilising web filtering and firewalls.
  • Be wary of emails and particularly of unsolicited attachments.
  • Consider the admin privileges different members of staff have. Limiting these can limit the extent of the damage in the event of an attack. 
  • Have a disaster recovery plan in place. Your disaster recovery plan should cover a range of eventualities including a cyber attack. 
  • Speak to an expert. An IT professional with expertise in IT security will be able to look at your IT systems and identify any vulnerabilities. They will also be able to advise on the steps to take to improve your IT security.

If you would like more information about how to protect your business from ransomware or if you don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place then we can help. Even if you have taken steps in the past to protect your systems it might be time to review your security measures. Unfortunately cyber crime is developing and becoming more and more sophisticated all the time so it is important to review your approach regularly. 

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how we can help you safeguard your business against ransomware and other threats. 01978 858300 or info@mwlsystems.co.uk

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How to stay protected against ransomware