Your IT Support must include robust data protection

Data ProtectionThe latest threat to your company’s online security is a form of malware known as ransomware, a particularly unpleasant virus that holds your files hostage, and charges you for their release.  Although we have come to appreciate the benefits of encryption, the Cryptolocker virus, as it is known, uses the same technique to take hold of a company’s data.  This bug invades your IT network and encrypts every target file it encounters; these may include your spreadsheets, photographs and documents.

Cryptolocker is usually delivered to your system using an email attachment and there are no early warning signs.  By the time you find out about the security breach, the malware has done its job and your data is beyond reach.  Some victims report a pop-up showing a countdown of anything between 72 and 100 hours, signaling the length of time they have before the hackers delete their files for good.

For any business, being prepared with a comprehensive data recovery service or online backup is vital.  Think of these as an insurance policy; they minimize your downtime, protect sensitive data and can help you recover from anything cyber criminals throw at you.  Companies that neglect to safeguard their digital assets are looking at making a hefty payout to a criminal gang, or a potentially catastrophic loss of data.

Like most IT threats, Cryptolocker may also be delivered to your network through malicious websites.  Your staff may visit these pages unwittingly and enable an attack.  The bug will find a vulnerable spot in your security provision and attempt to gain access.  Therefore, a well maintained antivirus and antimalware solution is essential for every business.  Without a robust security solution that is regularly updated, your data will always be vulnerable to what experts call “the weakest link:” human behavior.

Is your provider doing what you pay them to do?

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Learn more about the author Bob Martin