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How You and Your Employees Can Help Stop Ransomware

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A ransomware attack is the most common type of cyberattack that can target any organization, big or small. Ransomware is deployed through phishing by sending emails with malicious links and attachments that download the ransomware software into the system if clicked on.

These attacks can cause significant damage as the attackers gain access to the critical data of the organization. However, they are not very difficult to prevent.

Steps to Stop Ransomware

Since ransomware attacks are done through phishing, the most effective way to prevent them is to educate your employees. Here are some practices for your employees to stay protected from ransomware attacks.

Maintain updated software

Employees should keep their software updated and security features like anti-malware and firewalls enabled at all times. It ensures that there are no gaps for malware and ransomware to target.

Stay safe when surfing

Safe surfing is an important practice as it keeps your system protected from cybersecurity threats. Even though ransomware is deployed through phishing, malware can also spread by opening unprotected and suspicious websites, connecting corrupted USB drives, and downloading free software in the system.

Filter the emails

Filtering your emails can help you stay protected by limiting potential malicious emails in your inbox. Enterprise-grade solutions for filtering emails use whitelisting, blacklisting, and email analytics for effective filtering of emails.

Scan attachments

Many spam filters come with features for scanning that let you scan emails for threats. Make it a practice to scan attachments before opening them to ensure you don’t click on malicious attachments.

Block attachments

Using software to block certain attachments that have suspicious extensions such as .exe, .bat, .js, and more can help stop ransomware effectively. However, it may also restrict some legit attachments and you may need to have a designated server for handling blocked file types.

Test the systems and employees

When your network is in its best shape, you should perform regular testing of employees, backup, and vulnerability testing to ensure protection from ransomware. Organizations should develop strategies for employee testing to ensure that the employees understand how to deal with suspicious emails and play their part in preventing ransomware. These strategies can include sending phishing emails to employees and conducting mock social engineering scams.

Limit access to the number of files for employees

Employees should have access to only the information required for their daily tasks. This practice can help reduce human error by preventing employees from deleting or corrupting any important files that they shouldn’t be using.

Encourage data backup practices

It can be difficult for organizations to store data and manage data backups on the network, especially when many employees are working from home. Encourage employees to practice regular data backup on their own. If they primarily store data offline, they must also have a backup on the cloud. And if they store data on the cloud, they should manage offline copies.