Over the past three years, ransomware has jumped into the spotlight as a means to exploit and infect valuable data assets and demand a ransom for release. To date, hundreds of thousands of computers in 150 countries have been crippled by the “weapon of mass destruction”, WannaCry, and the number keeps on growing. To stop your organization from becoming affected, and to protect yourself from future attacks, here are 5 ways to protect yourself from malware attacks.
Prepare and Patch
It’s crazy to think that the patch that prevented the WannaCry infection, released two months ago in March, could have resolved the thousands of computers infected if proactively patched. It is quite evident that the first way to protect your organization is to:
- Patch aggressively to eliminate vulnerabilities.
- Upgrade to a supported version of Microsoft OS. With Windows 10 as the most secure OS available, the time to upgrade from unsupported systems: Window XP, Server and soon to be Windows 8, is now.
Assess your Backup and Disaster Recovery Strategy
Do you have a data remediation strategy? How often do you test your replication and failover to ensure that your data is safe? When was your data last updated? Having a proper disaster recovery and backup strategy is the best way to side-step ransom payments by restoring your company’s data from a reliable backup resource.
- Examine your RPOs and RTOs to confirm all data is up-to-date and backed up as frequently as possible.
- Follow the 3-2-1 principle: Store at least three copies of your data on two different media, with at least one copy siting off-site – like tape, offline disk or the cloud. With Backup in the Azure Cloud – companies can find a cheaper alternative for a backup solution without the costs of hardware and depreciating assets. Azure backup maintains six copies of your data across two Azure datacenters to ensure 99.9% service availability for full peace-of-mind.
Learn more about our Managed and Unified Data Protection Services
- Use threat intelligence sources to block or alert you to the presence of anomalies in your network traffic.
- With most suspicious activity coming from phishing emails, screen your Exchange emails with Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection.
Learn more about our $1000 funded, Advanced Email Protection FastTrack, where we can help your organization deploy Advanced Threat Protection to secure your mailboxes from threats and malicious links.
There are two kinds of user accounts on Windows. Administrator accounts can install, update and remove software, and malware that infects an administrator account can do so as well. Limited accounts, however, are barred from altering a computer’s software installations, and in most cases, malware that infected limited accounts will be similarly crippled. With that said:
- Dialing back the degree of access privileges. Unfortunately, Windows creates administrator accounts by default. So go to Control Panel > User Accounts > Manage User Accounts and create a limited account for every person who uses your PC, including yourself
- Use the administrator account for only updating, adding or removing software.
Ensure you’re Protected
Contact your Softlanding representative or call +1 (604) 697 6763 to assess the security readiness of your organization. We would be happy to work with you to assess your current practices, procedures and technical controls in alignment with ISO 27002 standards.
Learn more about our Endpoint Security Assessment Workshop