Five practical tips to fight ransomware

Five practical tips to fight ransomware

Data and network security continue to be a major talking point in every digitised industry, especially because of increasing public and government awareness of issues and calls for increased responsibility for breaches.


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Throughout 2017, the most prominent new threat to data, both for individuals and for businesses, has been ransomware, which has affected major organisations including Mondelez, DLA Piper, and even the NHS –

With such major players falling victim to ransomware, it is clear that everyone needs to take steps to protect themselves, so here are five practical ways to safeguard your organisation from ransomware.

Understand the infection

A lot of security is focused on access control, such as permission and password policies, and intrusion prevention and detection, such as firewalls. These protect well against many things, but will do little against ransomware.

Fundamentally, ransomware is an opportunistic infection, not a targeted attack. Ransomware is introduced to the system by an infected email or device, and probably one that is there legitimately. Because of this, the best protection against ransomware is endpoint security, such as Endpoint security ensures that all devices which will connect to your network are secure, so you substantially reduce the chance of the infection being introduced.


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Review email policies

Apart from infected devices, emails and attachments are the most common way for ransomware infections to spread, and therefore strong email policies can combat them. At a basic level, ensuring that all incoming emails are checked for viruses is a strong step. Email policies that filter emails with inconsistent reply-to or sender information, common signs of spoofed or phishing emails, can reduce the chance of infection as well.

Keep up to date

As with most security threats, ransomware takes advantage of software vulnerabilities to cause its damage. Keeping all software up to date, especially virus scanning applications, operating systems, and network applications, can prevent a lot of security issues – not just ransomware.

Consider application whitelists

If you want to take a major step, setting up application whitelisting can help secure your systems. While whitelists can prevent a lot of malicious code from running, they can seriously hamper some legitimate activities, so should be carefully considered.

Backup everything

The reality is that not every security threat can be prevented. As such, one of the best ways to prevent loss is to ensure regular and secure backups.

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