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MSPs Prevent Ransomware for Small Businesses

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It’s a well-known fact that MSPs (managed service provider) prevent ransomware for small businesses. Ransomware is a terrible and costly form of malware that has wreaked havoc on the cybersecurity world, ruining countless businesses’ reputation. Having a managed services provider for your cybersecurity needs can help prevent ransomware infection before they happen. Worst case scenario they can help minimize the damage during a ransomware incident.

Back in 2016, a business was attacked by ransomware every 40 seconds. Then in 2017, there was a massive global ransomware attack known as the WannaCry virus. This hit business of all sizes and demographics. The WannaCry virus was so successful that attacks from other ransomware viruses rose by 350% in the same year after others saw its effectiveness. Kaspersky, a leader in cybersecurity, has estimated that a single ransomware attack can cost a small to midsize business up to $99,000 or more. A managed service provider can prevent that type of loss of income.

Let’s go over what Ransomware does exactly:

Ransomware is a type of virus that systematically encrypts files and documents on your computer and network. Once they are encrypted you will not be able to open them due to this encryption. The malware can encrypt files across your network, infecting several computers, even affecting Cloud repositories which it gains access to.

Once infected by ransomware you are likely to see a pop-up message on the screen notifying you as to what happened and what the malware creator wants you to do next. Something like “Your files are encrypted and if you pay me we will let you access them again”. Most of the time they money will be transmitted through anonymous means such as cryptocurrency. A managed service provider could advise you during this tricky situation. However, even if you pay the amount in full, in the time frame dictated, it doesn’t mean they will actually unlock your files. Thousands of people have fallen for this only to still be left with a computer full of encrypted files.

How does this happen?

A. Email attachment:

Ransomware can be delivered via a phishing email that contains an infected attachment, such as a PDF or Word document. If a user opens the attachment it can automatically run a small software program embedded in the document which then installs the ransomware.

B. Email links:

Malicious emails sometimes contain links to websites which themselves contain malware. If you click on the link you can be automatically infected by the ransomware without even being aware of it.

C. Infected websites:

If a website is infected with malware, just navigating to it could result in your computer becoming infected with ransomware.

How Can You Prevent Ransomware?

1. Patch management

Systems are often only able to be exploited because Windows has not been updated. Consequently, the best way to do this is by searching for Windows Updates in Cortana but these are oftentimes set to run automatically. If it is not set up automatically you can press the Windows Key + R, type Control Panel, and under Security check the update settings. Windows will look through its update database and make sure that your computer is protected.

After updates have been installed, turn your computer off (do not just reboot). Some updates require a full-on off-cycle to install. When the computer has booted back up, repeat these steps until Windows says it is up to date.

2. Updated Antivirus

It is also important to have your antivirus definitions up to date as often as possible. Many antivirus software, you can simply right-click on the icon in your taskbar and click update from the menu. Some antivirus software is updated almost daily. A managed service provider would be able to do this process seamlessly without any action needed on your part. Bitdefender, for example, has successfully protected computers against the WannaCry virus and other ransomware.

3. Keep AntiVirus Running

Just having your antivirus software installed is not enough. Ensure that it is running and active. Do not let your antivirus expire and always make sure that it is running the background. These are designed to protect against the WannaCry virus.

4. Have a firewall Protecting the Network

Computers communicate through the internet using different ports. Some ports offer openings for data to transfer in, others transfer data out, and others transmit data both ways. Without getting too complicated, just make sure that your antivirus also can block vulnerabilities through the use of a firewall.

5. Backup and disaster recovery

Backing up your files into the cloud and on flash drives is a great way to protect your data. Software such as Live Drive constantly backs up your data every hour. You can also manually move the files on to a flash drive as an extra redundancy. Using both methods is the best way to protect your data. With a managed service provider however, you would have entrusted a professional to do it.

6. Email management

If you receive an email from a sender you do not recognize, do not open it! The easiest way for a virus to get into your computer is through opening an attachment. This is like opening the door for a criminal and letting them into your house. It does not matter how much protection you have, opening a suspicious email is the easiest way to let a hacker or virus on to your computer.

Conclusion:

Keeping on top of trends in cybercrime can be time-consuming. A managed service provider can keep your business free of malware which allows you to be secure in doing your job. Your top priority should be making your business successful, not worrying about cyberthreats. If you need assistance with protection from these issues, call 844-880-RUSH (7874) and ask for a free tune-up and infection audit.

Keeping on top of trends in cybercrime can be time-consuming. A managed service provider can keep your business free of malware which allows you to be secure in doing your job. Your top priority should be making your business successful, not worrying about cyberthreats. If you need assistance with protection from these issues, call 844-880-RUSH (7874) and ask for a free tune-up and infection audit.

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