• Nick Allo Nick AlloPublished on March 26,2020

How Can Florida Businesses Protect Themselves From Ransomware?

Protect your business from potentially devastating ransomware attacks by putting these effective, tried and proven cybersecurity strategies into practice.  

Ransomware encrypts your entire IT system, preventing you from gaining access to any of your business information unless you pay a ransom to get a decryption key. Needless to say, this type of attack is devastating for any business owner, as cybercriminals may demand hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in payment. What’s more, there is no guarantee that the cybercriminal will give you the key or that the key will even work properly.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent ransomware attacks or at least limit the amount of damage that is done to your IT systems. Following are five simple yet effective measures every single business should take to protect themselves from ransomware attacks.

Use Basic Cybersecurity Best Practices

It’s neither expensive nor complicated to implement basic cybersecurity best practices. These include:

  • Not reusing personal passwords for company accounts
  • Using strong passwords that include both capital and lower-case letters, symbols and numbers
  • Changing password regularly
  • Setting up two-factor authentication
  • Shutting down your computer when leaving your desk

Provide Cybersecurity Training to Staff Members

More than half of all businesses have noted that employees are their “weak point” in IT security, and it’s not hard to see why. All it takes is one click on a malicious link to set a ransomware attack in motion. What’s more, a single action or lack of action on the part of one or more employees can result in the ransomware attack spreading from a single employee’s device to your entire IT system.

Thankfully, you can prevent this from happening by providing IT cybersecurity training to your staff members on a regular basis. Such training is typically offered by IT managed service providers, many of whom also use employee testing programs to ensure your employees are putting their training into practice.

Update Your Software Programs

IT developers offer regular software updates to fix system vulnerabilities that could lead to malware and ransomware attacks. Sadly, many business owners don’t benefit from these updates because they don’t take the time to update their software programs. Updating software isn’t something that would be great to do if you get around to it; instead, it could be a matter of life and death for your business. Alternatively, your company may want to consider using a cloud service platform such as Microsoft Office 365, as such platforms are automatically updated.

Use Endpoint Security

In times past, workers came to work at the company office and then left their work behind when returning home. This is no longer the case. Many companies allow some or even most of their employees to work remotely. Others partner with outside contractors to get work done faster, easier and more efficiently than would have otherwise been possible. While such arrangements certainly have their advantages, they also put your IT system at risk of ransomware attacks as hackers gain access to your IT department via a remote device.

The best way to prevent this problem is to use strong endpoint security. Next-generation firewall software and other tools can keep your network safe by detecting and blocking any suspicious activity. What’s more, this activity is logged so you can see potential dangers and address them before they cause any damage.

Back up All Your Files Regularly

The FBI recommends not paying the ransom if you are hit by a ransomware attack, as paying up encourages cybercriminals to continue their malicious attacks. However, wiping your systems and starting afresh means that you’ll need up-to-date backups of all your important information. It’s wise to use both a cloud-based and in-house back-up system to ensure you have copies of all your files on hand should you need to access them.

Do you need professional help to assess your company’s IT cybersecurity and protect your business from attacks? SemTech IT Solutions has nearly ten years of experience providing comprehensive, affordable IT solutions to start-ups and growing businesses throughout Central Florida. Get in touch with us to learn how we can help you implement strong, efficient cybersecurity solutions that will keep your business safe now and in the future.

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