Ransomware is one of the scariest kinds of malware that can affect a company computer network because it presents a very real threat of crucial data loss as well as the compromise of corporate software systems and theft of sensitive financial data. Fortunately, you should be able to protect your company against the negative effects of any ransomware attack by heeding the following tips:
1. Have a Data Recovery Provider on Standby
While the other tips on this list are preventative and protective measures that you can take to avoid a ransomware infection altogether, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be 100% immune to all attacks. When facing the apparent loss of data caused by ransomware, many companies are tempted to pay whatever sum is demanded in order to regain access to their files and restore the full functionality of their operating systems. However, it’s important to note that, even in the event of a severe ransomware attack, the data is still on the hard drive – it’s just been hidden. Thus, one of the first steps you should take to prepare for a ransomware attack is to find a reputable secure data recovery provider that can help you reveal and retrieve your files even in a worst-case scenario, as you don’t want to be scrambling to compare your options after it occurs.
2. Utilize User Permissions
Any person who connects to your company network should have restricted or specified permissions when it comes to downloading files and visiting certain websites. You can use any major enterprise antivirus to disable download abilities for certain users or network-wide. Some companies have begun conducting all file sharing and correspondence within cloud-based project management platforms while disabling download capabilities on all other websites. Most enterprise systems will also keep an access log to show which users have accessed specific folders or files.
3. Use an Antivirus with Live Protection
While routine scanning will help you find a ransomware infection after it has already entered your operating system, by then your files might already be held for ransom. Thus, it’s essential to run a suite of antivirus tools that include live website and file scanning capabilities. This is a feature that can be found in virtually every enterprise-level security software, so make sure it’s always enabled.
4. Schedule Routine Cloud Backups
One of the easiest ways to protect your company against data loss caused by ransomware is to simply sync all files to one or more cloud storage accounts like Google Drive. That way, you’ll always have a copy of your company data that will be continually updated as long as your network is connected to the internet.
Restore to Factory Settings and Restore from Backup
Ultimately, the fastest and easiest way to recover from a ransomware attack is to restore all machines to factory settings and restore data from a backup source like a cloud storage account or an external hard drive. However, heeding tip #3 above to avoid a ransomware infection in the first place is the only way to keep your company’s critical information out of the hands of hackers.