If you rely on data (and who doesn’t), you’re probably a target for ransomware.  But there are things you can proactively do to help ensure that if or when you do get hit, you have a way to recover relatively quickly and painlessly.  First and foremost, backup, backup and backup.  The only way to outwit the attackers is to have a way to access your data from a source that isn’t infected.  And while most individuals and businesses these days do some sort of backup on a regular basis, it is important that you take adequate measures to ensure your backup isn’t vulnerable, too.

If you are backing up to a server or external hard drive, it is important that you keep the backup hardware disconnected from your network and offline, except during specific times when actual data backup is occurring.  The reason for this is that ransomware attackers are aware that the best way to guarantee you’ll pay up is if they can get to your backup files, thereby bringing your business to a halt.  As such, cybercriminals will frequently gain entry to a local computer and then try to navigate their way to your servers or backup hard drives in order to hold your backup data for ransom.

data securityAnother backup storage mechanism to seriously consider is cloud-based storage.  While all cloud storage vendors are not created equal, the good ones are a relatively cost effective and simple way to ensure your data is protected and can be recovered back to a specific point in time (before your files were infected), even if your most recent backup includes corrupt or infected files.

And as always, the best first line of defense against ransomware and other cyber-attacks is to train your employees not to click on suspicious emails and/or links and to actively block sites known to harbor malware from being accessed on your network.  And should you get infected with ransomware, don’t panic.  Disconnect your computer from the internet immediately, and then work through your established plan to safely and efficiently recover your data.  But whatever you do, don’t get stuck without a plan in place.  Contact ATB today to work with our IT professionals to help safeguard your data.

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