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Ransomware Roundup: Five ways to protect your company from cybercriminals

cybercrimeA new survey from the Ponemon Institute has revealed the many ways employees put their companies at risk for a ransomware attack, according to a new story on CSO Online. To avoid future attacks, it is vital that employees are educated on the threat of ransomware. So what can be done to reduce the risk? According to CSO Online contributor Ondrej Krehel, the founder of cybersecurity firm LIFARS, it’s important to take the following steps:

  1. Protect your data: Use a cloud backup system to ensure that all your data can be recovered and restored during a time of emergency.
  2. Put detection systems in place: It is essential that your systems are able to detect any malicious content. Installing an antivirus software is an important first step.
  3. Scan your content: Malicious emails and links are lurking within your computer. It is important to be cautious before clicking anything.
  4. Be prepared: Have an incident response team and a recovery plan ready in case your files can’t be accessed.
  5. Assess the damage: If you are attacked, make sure to thoroughly investigate what data has been compromised and whether you are left liable over sensitive data.

Don’t surrender to ransomware: Back up instead
With ransomware attacks on the rise, the FBI is urging victims not to pay a ransom. A recent Ponemon Institute survey revealed that 51% of businesses had experienced a ransomware incident – and many chose to pay the ransom. “Paying a ransom not only emboldens current cybercriminals to target more organizations, it also offers an incentive for other criminals to get involved in this type of illegal activity,” says James Trainor, Assistant Director of FBI Cyber Division. So what other options are victims left with? For more details on what to do if you get hit by ransomware, read FightRansomware.com contributor Steve Strauss’s article.

Industrial controls: Ransomware’s next victim?
Cybercriminals are becoming more intrusive and have been evolving their methods for choosing targets. That is why cybersecurity researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are inspecting just how vulnerable industrial controls are to ransomware. The researchers simulated a water treatment plant and found that ransomware was able to take over programmable logic controllers, giving criminals the power to shut valves, alter chlorine levels and even display false readings. “We are expecting ransomware to go one step further, beyond the customer data to compromise the controls themselves,” says David Formby, a Ph.D. student in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This may one day include industrial facilities such as management systems that control escalators, elevators and HV/AC systems, as well as manufacturing plants and waste treatment facilities.

For even more ransomware news, visit the FightRansomare.com homepage today!

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