It’s been a few years since there has been a serious IT virus that has spread around the world. Aside from credit card data breaches, most consumers and businesses have been relatively comfortable with their out of the box security solutions for their computers. Today, IT support providers in San Antonio are working overtime to make up for this lapse in security following the outbreak of a serious ransomware attack that took over the globe. While an attack of this scale can be debilitating, it also serves to remind companies that IT security is serious business, and they can’t afford to ignore the issue.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a particularly scary form of malware which infects your computer or network and locks you out. When the file is opened, the malware works to encrypt all of the files available to it, and sends you back a notice demanding payment, thus the ransom. Ransom is almost always demanded in Bitcoin and is handled by a server hidden somewhere else so there is no easy way to track down the perpetrator or the source of the attack.
Who Gets Hurt?
The most recent ransomware attack proved that the effects of the malware spread far beyond the businesses whose computers were infected, and actually disrupted critical functions. For instance, the National Health Service network in England and Scotland was infected, which then took over MRI machines, blood storage units, and other important equipment. Furthermore, emergency dispatch systems were infected, making it difficult to route ambulances and other emergency vehicles. What began as a simple worm quickly turned into a matter of life and death.
Other industries such as distribution warehouses, major transportation avenues and more were also affected by this attack. Altogether, it is believed that more than 200,000 computers and devices were infected in a matter of days.
How to Protect Yourself
The difficult part of dealing with attacks is that you must rely on your team to know when something looks suspicious. No matter how much time you have spent building your disaster recovery strategy, your users are still the front line of defense. In order to prevent your system from being taken down, you first need to equip your users with a working knowledge and understanding of security threats and teach them how to avoid or report any suspicious activity. In many cases, this also means limiting end user functions to eliminate opening personal emails from company devices. Seeking professional help from an IT support provider in San Antonio is always advisable.
The next most important step is ensuring that you have proper backups in place to get your system back online as fast as possible if it is taken down. Since ransomware can spread between computers and networks internally, having a backup onsite is not sufficient protection. Keeping a backup off site, separated from the main network may be the only saving grace if your entire network is exposed to attack.
With proper IT support in San Antonio, you can protect your network and devices against attacks from ransomware and all other forms of malware. This includes building a bulletproof disaster recovery plan, as well as implementing training courses to keep your team members in the loop about the threats we face today in the IT environment. For foolproof IT security solutions, contact us at Rx Technology today.