UK Businesses Struggling With Ransomware
Ransomware* sucks. Unfortunately, attacks are still on the rise in 2016.
As reported recently by The Guardian a study by anti-malware company Malwarebytes has shown that businesses in the UK appear to have a particular problem with ransomware:
- “54% of surveyed businesses had been targeted [by ransomware]”
- “over half the businesses hit by ransomware in the UK will eventually pay”
- “one-fifth of British companies who had been hit by ransomware reported being charged more than $10,000 to unlock their files, and 3% of the demands were in excess of $50,000”
These are some worrying figures, particularly the fact the majority of businesses are paying the ransom. Coughing up the ransom will only further encourage the criminals running these scams.
If a ransomware infection does affect your business, usually your best (often only viable) option is to restore the encrypted data from a backup.
The impact this has on a business will generally be dictated by what data was encrypted, when your nearest restore point for that data is and how long your restore process takes.
As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, not even the very best antispam and antivirus solutions are infallible. So how do you protect your business from ransomware? Here are some things to consider to help safeguard your business:
This is something else we’ve touched upon in other blog posts. Users need to be aware that email is one of the most common vectors for malware/viruses. Make sure users know how to identify and safely deal with suspicious emails and attachments. A little suspicion could save a big headache!
Backup Your Data
All businesses should be backing up their data in some fashion as a matter of course. However not all data is born equal, nor all backup solutions. Some data may not change day to day and as such a restore from the previous night’s backup may be suitable. Other data may be updated very frequently and be of high importance to running your business. Losing the last 3 hours of said data could be a huge setback. Making sure your different types of data have the right backup coverage is essential to minimise the repercussions of any data loss.
When malware is running under a user’s profile, the access it has should be limited to things that user can access. Because of this, you can limit the damage malware can do by only giving users access to the things they strictly require. For this and other reasons, it’s usually best to give users the minimal level of access needed for their role.
Hopefully, the above tips will offer some food for thought when considering protection from this growing threat.
Ransomware has affected some of our customers, but thanks to preventative measures and good backups none have lost data. And they certainly haven’t paid the ransom!
If you would like further advice on protecting your business from ransomware, we’d love to help. Please contact us using the details found here.
*Ransomware is a breed of malware which encrypts your files so they can’t be accessed. The criminals who made the software then demand you pay a fee for the key to decrypt the data.