Ransomware is a lucrative enterprise for members of the shady underbelly of the internet. It is projected to have a damage cost of $5 billion in 2017. While email filtering, antivirus, firewalls and security updates all have their very important place in protecting businesses, the end user remains the key piece in preventing attacks. Something as minor as opening a suspicious attachment in an email or downloading some innocent software from a less than reputable site can lead to the whole business’ files being encrypted. Below we list some simple tips to help users be more security aware. Please feel free to forward onto your end users!
- Phishing: The most common sources of ransomware infections are email attachments or links from social media. Even if you know the sender, the attachments or links could contain infections. Common infected emails may look like they are from Australia Post, AGL Energy, DHL, ATO, PayPal or Facebook. Every email attachment should be verified before opening. Were you expecting an email from the sender? If not, do not open and verify with sender or Forsythes prior to opening. Is the sender someone you know? If not, you probably shouldn’t open the attachment. If you aren’t 100% sure about whether to open an email or not call Forsythes to check.
- Be careful when releasing a quarantined or spam flagged email as these possibly contain ransomware attachments or links.
- Websites: Certain websites can also contain ransomware. It could be contained as part of a software download that looks innocent, like a PDF printer. Only download software from a reputable source. It could also be part of the website itself. You may see a pop up that asks you to click OK or accept. If this is the case, click the X to close the pop up and immediately close the browser window. Remember, if you see an offer to download free music, games or movies it could easily be a transmission source for ransomware.
- Clicking something is the only way you can allowing ransomware into your computer and your business network. If something doesn’t look right, it could be infected.
Forsythes Technology is fully up to date with the latest attack vectors and scams being used to propagate ransomware and we’re more than happy to check your email or a website prior if you are suspicious or unsure. When it comes to ransomware, it is always best to err of the side of caution and we’re here to help!