Top 10 Best Practices Ransomware

Top 10 Best Practices Ransomware

Best Practices Ransomware

Best Practices Ransomware – Ransomware is a class of malware that holds a computer or data “hostage” until the user pays a particular amount or abides by specific instructions. The ransomware restricts access to the data and the system. Some cases of ransomware also repeatedly show messages that tell users they must pay the “ransom” or perform a particular action. There are some ransomware variants that encrypt files found on the system’s hard drive. Users must pay the ransom in order to decrypt the data that was altered by the ransomware.

Cybercriminals behind this threat made use of online payment methods as a way for users to pay the ransom.

  1. Have remote backups of your data that is not “mapped” to your computers and network.
  2. Show hidden file extensions. One way that Cryptolocker frequently arrives is in a file that is named with the extension “.PDF.EXE”, counting on Window’s default behavior of hiding known file-extensions. In order to mitigate this re-enable the ability to see the full file-extension, it can be easier to spot suspicious files.
  3. Have your email server filter out all files that are executables. If there is a need to exchange executable files within your environment and are denying emails with “.EXE” files, you can do so with ZIP files (password-protected) or via cloud services.
  4. Disable files running from AppData/LocalAppData folders. One of the way that ransomware works is to place an executable within those Wndows folders and then launch the programs. By disabling those files you eliminate a major weakness in your operating environment.
  5. Disable Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) which allows others to access your desktop remotely. If you do not require the use of RDP, you can disable RDP to protect your environment.
  6. Keep your software current by applying patches and updates in a timely manner. Malware authors frequently rely on people running outdated software with known vulnerabilities, which they can exploit to silently get onto your system. It can significantly decrease the potential for ransomware-pain if you make a practice of updating your software often.
  7. Utilize a security suite that has large user base and is updated frequently.
  8. If you run WiFi in your environment, ,make sure that all of the routers in the network are secure, utilize strong passwords and change their passwords at least quarterly. If you do have a ransomware attack turn your WiFi off immediately.
  9. Provide in-depth training to all users who have access to your environment on what they can and cannot do such as accept files that are suspicious or from unknown users.
  10. Stay current with all breaches and ransomware attacks that are reported and adjust your operating environment to address exposures that others have faced.

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Author: Victor Janulaitis

M. Victor Janulaitis is the CEO of Janco Associates. He has taught at the USC Graduate School of Business, been a guest lecturer at the UCLA's Anderson School of Business, a Graduate School at Harvard University, and several other universities in various programs.