How Do You Prevent a Ransomware Attack?

Prevention is the first line of defense against cybercrime. Here are a few defensive steps you can take to prevent ransomware infection.

  • Educate and train employees on how to avoid malware and understand the repercussions of a ransomware attack.
  • Restrict administrative access in your configuration settings.
  • Make sure you regularly update your systems and apply any new patches.
  • Incorporate techniques such as blacklisting, whitelisting, and user-based email analytics to balance the filtering of spam and legitimate mail.
  • Using scan capabilities integrated in spam filters or anti-malware software, check before opening any email attachments.
  • Enforce responsible web browsing; avoid visiting rogue websites, downloading free software, and connecting infected USB drives.

How to protect against ransomware

The first step is to create an effective backup and disaster recovery plan. When deciding your plan you need to determine your recovery point object (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO). Your RPO identifies the amount of data your organization can tolerate losing. Your RTO specifies the amount of time you’ll need to recover the high-priority data identified in your RPO.

Second step is to start protecting your data to help you meet those metrics you set in your disaster recovery plan. Invest in a solution that secures your data with automated backups. The location of these backups is important too: onsite backups are important to have for their speed, efficiency, and accessibility when needed for a recovery. But the best data protection strategy incorporates a combination of both local and offsite backups. Offsite backups can be isolated from the company network. Cloud-based backup is an excellent offsite option.

The third step is to frequently check backups. To ensure that data backups are effective, it is highly recommended to test and verify data backups at a regular interval. The recommended times to check if backups are working appropriately is when changes are made to applications, when data in applications changes, and when new applications are installed.