Spyware and virus infections used to be more of an annoyance more than anything. They could cause some pretty big problems with your computer, but were fairly rare and pretty much only affected that one machine. Sadly, those days are long gone. The new reality is that everyone needs to worry about the new ransomware infections and do everything they can to avoid them. A ransomware infection not only reeks havoc with your machine but also affects other computers, servers, and all of the data on the network. It is a REALLY big deal!
I recently heard a story of a company getting a ransomware infection that was so pervasive it infected all of their computers, servers, all data and applications (the ransomer’s event manually deleted all of the backups and cloud backup files too). The company was literally out of business until the situation was rectified. They had to pay the ransom, but luckily received the data back.
On that note, here is a great article from Wired that is worth a read and some other points to consider:
- It all starts with people. Be vigilant when opening any attachments in email or clicking on any links (even the ones coming from Google searches – if they look odd in anyway they could be bogus).
- Make sure your backups are rock solid. You do not want to pay the ransom! You can clean out the infection and restore your files but with no backup, you are out of options.
- Keep all of your data on your servers. Most likely you are not backing up all of your computers. It is best practice to keep data off computers for any reasons – Disaster recovery, failed hard drives, security, and many more.
- Leverage the Cloud. To date these infections do not affect data in the Cloud.
- Look into Cyber insurance. You never know when you may need it.