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Don’t be a statistic. Protect yourself against Ransomware

By: Rhys Davies

Friday brought one of the most significant malware outbreaks the world has seen. To date, it has affected over 150 countries, 200,000 victims and high profile organisations as diverse as health providers, shipping magnates and rail operators.  Worryingly, this ransomware strain (WannaCry) self propagates from computer to computer by exploiting a known Windows vulnerability.  This is a significant change and greatly expands the reach of its attack.

This ransomware attack was not targeted as portrayed in certain sections of the media.  It was an indiscriminate attack where any organisation was a target due to the business critical data they hold. Data that criminals know they cannot afford to do without.

So what can be done to minimize the risk of being hit by a crippling Ransomware attack?

  • Build User Awareness. Ransomware generally infiltrates a network through spam and phishing emails.  Educate your end users to exercise caution when opening email attachments or clicking on embedded links in emails.
  • Use a best-of-breed security system where integrated products dynamically share threat, health and security information.  Sophos Endpoint Protection, Intercept X and XG Firewall solutions work together to stop ransomware attacks.  Endpoint Protection and Intercept X automatically stops ransomware attacks and rolls back encrypted files to safe states.  XG Firewall isolates infected devices by removing network access.  This prevents ransomware from propagating and eliminates further infections.  All this happens instantly.  No need for you to do a thing.
  • Patch all of your systems.  Microsoft released a patch (MS17-010) for the Windows vulnerability WannaCry exploited on the 14th of March.  2 months later and many organizations have still not patched this vulnerability. Flexera’s best of breed security solutions work together to track and eliminate critical software vulnerabilities within your organisation.  No more patch management headaches.
  • Have a robust backup policy in place.  Ransomware can encrypt files held on any network drives, shares, removable media and cloud storage.  Sometimes the only way you can recover your business critical data from a ransomware attack is from a Cloud backup.  Microsoft Azure is a very reliable, very secure, very efficient and very cost effective cloud backup solution.
  • Protect privileged accounts and passwords. By gaining unauthorized access to just one privileged admin account, attackers can assume the identity of a “trusted insider,” infiltrate your network and encrypt your data.  Thycotic’s privileged account management solution helps you secure these accounts.  This stops ransomware from having the required rights to execute and encrypt your files.  Another ransomware vulnerability mitigated.

For more information on how these solutions can eliminate your ransomware worries, call us now on 01974 200 201 or email sales@pugh.co.uk

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