Ransomware is one of the most widespread and damaging threats that internet users face.
Since the infamous CryptoLocker first appeared in 2013, we’ve seen a new era of file-encrypting ransomware variants delivered through spam messages and Exploit Kits, extorting money from home users and businesses alike.
Here our System Development Advisor, Chris Thomas, provides the nine best security practices to apply now.
1. Backup regularly and keep a recent backup copy off-line and off-site
There are dozens of ways other than ransomware that files can suddenly vanish, such as fire, flood, theft, a dropped laptop or even an accidental delete. Encrypt your backup and you won’t have to worry about the backup device falling into the wrong hands.
2. Enable file extensions
4. Don’t enable macros in document attachments received via email
Microsoft deliberately turned off auto-execution of macros by default many years ago as a security measure. A lot of infections rely on persuading you to turn macros back on, so don’t do it!
5. Be cautious about unsolicited attachments
The crooks are relying on the dilemma that you shouldn’t open a document until you are sure it’s one you want, but you can’t tell if it’s one you want until you open it. If in doubt leave it out.
6. Don’t give yourself more login power than you need
Don’t stay logged in as an administrator any longer than is strictly necessary and avoid browsing, opening documents or other regular work activities while you have administrator rights.
7. Consider installing the Microsoft Office viewers
These viewer applications let you see what documents look like without opening them in Word or Excel. In particular, the viewer software doesn’t support macros, so you can’t enable them by mistake!
8. Patch early, patch often
Malware that doesn’t come in via a document often relies on security bugs in popular applications, including Microsoft Office, your browser, Flash and more. The sooner you patch, the fewer holes there are to be exploited.
9. Stay up-to-date with new security features in your business applications
For example Office 2016 now includes a control called “Block macros from running in Office files from the internet”, which helps protect against external malicious content without stopping you using macros internally.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of IT security with any of our experts then call us on 0330 400 5465 or alternatively e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org