Slow Down Before You Open That Email!

 In News, Tech Tips

Ransomware is evil, and it could be lurking in the next email. This type of virus will infect your computer and encrypt your files. If that’s not enough, they will demand a large sum of money to unlock your files.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are the first line of defense!

Be Suspicious and Trust No One

Let’s make this simple, the bad guys know that the weakest link is you. They will attempt to social engineer you or bully you into opening an email that you should have deleted.

Examples of sketchy subject lines:

  • legally binding contract
  • email from the IRS about your business name
  • subpoena from the IRS
  • county taxes overdue
  • parking ticket
  • bulk order discounts?
  • your business name sued me
  • IRS subpoenaed documents
  • order tracking info for not your email address

These are real subject lines from real emails. Notice that all of the subjects are designed to catch your attention. However, keep in mind the old saying “curiosity killed the cat”. Every one of these emails had a word doc attached. Guess what I found when I uploaded them to virustotal? Yup, you guessed it. Virus.

Here’s what they would look like if you opened one:

“Trust no one. Literally,” advised an initiative of the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, Kaspersky Lab and Intel Security called “No More Ransom!” The project’s website warned that:

Any account can be compromised and malicious links can be sent from the accounts of friends on social media, colleagues or an online gaming partner.

Updates! Updates! Updates!

Yes, we know. You hate updates. They protect you. Just do them.

Here are the updates you may not thought of:

  • Windows Updates (You knew this one)
  • Java Updates
  • Adobe Flash & Reader Updates
  • Antivirus Updates
  • Firewall Updates

The first three are self explanatory. Antivirus updates are also pretty clear, but be careful of the freebie antivirus products. Sometime the free products are weak. We prefer to use a fully managed cloud based solution. When you use a managed solution you have us watching over your systems, and making sure they are current with virus definitions. Also, we will be alerted to the virus that has been detected, initiate remediation, and verify cleanup before you even knew it was there.

Firewall updates are important because often old hardware is vulnerable to threats, and once the vendor abandons it (EOL) the firewall needs retired. We offer the latest in next generation firewalls (NGFW) that add another layer of protection. This type of firewall does more than just share the internet with your office, they inspect the traffic for a wide range of threats before it even comes into you network.

Don’t Forget About Backups

No one pays attention to backups… Until you need it, only to find out it hasn’t worked in months. Whether you use local backups, cloud backups, or a combination of the two doesn’t matter as long as they are done right.

  • It’s important to check you backups regularly
  • Verify what is being backed up, how often, and how far you can go back
  • Off-site backups protect from ransomware that would attack your backups
  • Have your data in 3 places: live data, local backup, and an off-site backup

We offer a full range of backup solutions to help you stay safe. However, what is important to me is that you have a good backup. Accidents happen. Viruses happen. Crashes happen. Stay stafe. Think about what would happen if you lost a portion of your company data by a ransomware attack.

If you discover a rogue or unknown process on your machine, disconnect it immediately from the internet or other network connections (such as home Wi-Fi) — this will prevent the infection from spreading.

–nomoreransom.org

Ransomware is a billion-dollar nightmare. It’s not going away anytime soon. Do your best to stay safe.

We will always be here to help you no matter what happens.

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