With the WannaCry attack still circulating, businesses are up in arms wondering how to protect themselves.
The first question you need to ask yourself is whether or not your existing IT provider has adequately protected you from the latest in ransomware developments. As your first line of defense against cyber threats, your IT provider must be on top of your security.
Ransomware is nothing new.
It’s just that this particulary virulent strain has garnered international media attention. Now, even more ransomware developers have exploited the same security gap that allowed WannaCry in, meaning that more businesses are exposed to risks. That’s why when the media starts talking about a global threat that has swept up tens of thousands of victims, it’s a bit too late.
Ransomware protection starts well before that.
Some IT providers do not focus on protection and prevention, leaving you vulnerable. In those cases, it becomes a matter of time before something happens to your networks.
A proactive, holistic approach to ransomware is your safest approach. Here’s how we protected all of our clients from the recent Ransomware attacks:
- We start all clients with a full security assessment. Whether your IT is being managed internally or with another provider, you can have us come in and assess your network and will provide a report that shows you where we see room for improvement. If nothing else, this offers clients assurance that they are secure.
- We perform daily proactive maintenance and monitoring. When software patches are sent by vendors, we ensure that they are updated quickly, reducing the number of vulnerabilities that ransomware and other malware can get into your network.
- We ensure their software is always up to date. Everything from your desktop operating systems to your line of business applications to your server software needs to be an up-to-date version that is still supported by the manufacturer. When you use outdated software, you’re at a much higher risk for infiltration.
- We implement multiple layers of security. Security needs to include firewalls, email spam blockers and an antivirus that is constantly updating with new definitions to enhance your ability to block emails from ending up in your inbox and identifying malware before it has a chance to cause damage.
- We never skimp on backups. Regardless of what protective measures you do or don’t put into place, having the right backups ensures that you can recover quickly from the ransomware without having to pay the ransom or worry about remnants of ransomware being left on your device, ready to reactivate at a moment’s notice (yes, this happens).
- We set up resilient environments. For our managed services clients, we ensure that their networks are set up to be resilient. If they experience an outage, ransomware or some other malady, recovery is quick and painless.
- We test their security over and over again. If our clients get a suspicious email, they know they can call us and we’ll test it out to see if it is malware or a legitimate link or attachment. We get calls like that all the time, and have successfully thwarted a number of potential attacks because of that.
If you’re not sure how much security you really need, start with an assessment. At a minimum, you should understand what your risks are and be able to prioritize where your attention should be on mitigating those risks. Remember, it takes more than an off-the-shelf antivirus to protect you.