Ransomware - 7 steps to protect your business

Ransomware - 7 steps to protect your business

Ransomware - Seven essential steps to protecting your business

Now is the time to make sure that your business IT system is secure from attack.  Ransomware attacks and other security breaches can seriously disrupt your business and cost you thousands of pounds in lost productivity.  Here are BTP’s seven main steps to keep your business secure.

1. Backup -  Make sure you are backing up your whole system, that it is working correctly and that it is up-to-date.  If you ARE subject to a ransomware attack, you will be able to restore your system to its previous working state.  Make sure that you test your backup system to make sure that it is actually backing up!

2. Passwords - Now is the time to make sure you are using properly secure passwords.  The name of your dog or p4ssw0rd never were strong enough and they certainly are not now.  Get your IT support company to set your system to force users to change their passwords quarterly and make sure they are forced to use a suitable level of complexity including numbers and non-alphanumerical characters.  It’s a little bit inconvenient, but your staff will get used to it - and you’ll be much more secure!

3. Firewall -  Simply put, make sure you have a business-grade firewall and that it is correctly configured.  This will make your system more secure from intrusion.

4. Working practices - Don’t let your staff do whatever they like on your IT system.  Make sure you have a proper “Use of IT systems” policy and make sure that is rigorously monitored and enforced.  Don’t let staff install programs on their computers.  Don’t let staff attach usb sticks or SD cards to their computers.  Don’t let staff surf to Internet sites not related to your business.  

5. Beware of emails - Emails are the number one culprit in the transmission of ransomware, malware and viruses. Train your staff on how to use emails.  Don’t leave it to chance.  Make sure that everyone treats unusual or unexpected emails with extreme caution.  If in doubt - don’t open it!

6. Virus and malware protection programs - It is vital that your business has a good, business-grade virus and malware protection system that is always on and always up to date.

7. Old operating systems - Don’t use old and out-of-date operating systems which are no longer supported by their manufacturer.  Make sure that your operating systems are kept up-to-date with the latest security patches.  This was the main cause of the latest “NHS ransomware attack”.  Viruses and hackers will take advantage of insecure and unsupported operating systems such as Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft SBS 2003.

Don’t let it happen to you.  If you are not 100% sure that you have fully implemented each of these seven steps, talk to BTP.  It is vitally important to the safe running of your business IT system.