We see it in the news seemingly every other week: a ransomware attack has crippled a major corporation. Yet although these attacks have become commonplace, many small business owners are behind when it comes to safeguarding against them. Some may mistakenly believe they are protected, while others think their organization is too small to be a target. This is dangerous thinking, as any business can fall victim to these insidious and often devastating attacks.
Here are five ransomware safeguards every small business should have:
Microsoft releases security patches for it latest operating systems. These patches are designed to close security holes in Microsoft products—it’s important to install these on all of your PCs. Windows 10 is designed to automatically install these patches, but older operating systems may require you to proactively download and install the updates. Unfortunately, many people don’t bother to take this critical measure. If you are still running an older operating system on your PC, it’s time to upgrade to a Windows 10 machine.
System backups are akin to taking a snapshot of your data. Done right, you will end up with multiple backup iterations, each taken at a different point of time. Some of these backup copies can be stored onsite, but you should make sure that some are kept off site. Regardless of where the backups are stored, they should be isolated from your main network of PCs. These isolated backup copies can’t be affected by malware that hits the primary system. If this were to happen, you simply walk back in time to the iteration that isn’t affected, and restore from there. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s better than losing everything.
Don’t put off protecting your business
As an IT advisor, I have been discussing cyber security with my clients more frequently than ever. It’s important to know what threats—and solutions—are out there, as well as what could be around the corner. Having these five basic protections in place is a great start, but there are other safeguards that exist as well. If you have questions about this ever-evolving topic, please don’t hesitate to contact me.