Top 5 tips to prevent ransomware

Ransomware continues to present a real cybersecurity threat. Tom Merritt offers five ways you can prevent it from affecting your business.

Top 5 tips to prevent ransomware

The scourge of ransomware threatens businesses of all sizes, including hospitals and schools. The idea is to lock up an organization's data and demand payment to unlock it. Here are five tips to help you prevent ransomware. 

  1. Secure every device in your operation: Run antivirus, implement a strong firewall, and update every piece of software with the latest patches.
  2. Educate your staff: Train employees not to provide personal info in email, text messages, phone calls, or IM. Scan incoming communications for known threats. 
  3. Make sure IT knows when employees are traveling: Make traveling employees use VPN when accessing any resources while out on the road.
  4. Disable unnecessary Windows processes: Volume Shadow Copy Service admin doesn't always need to be enabled and can be hijacked by ransomware. Also consider disabling PowerShell, Windows Script Host, file sharing, and AutoPlay unless you have a specific need for those services.
  5. Make good and frequent backups: Be sure to store backups separately from other systems and know how to restore them. The easiest way to recover from a ransomware attack is to be able to restore your own data yourself.

Granted, there's no 100% way to prevent ransomware, but every step you take that gets you closer to being unaffected is a good step to take.

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Image: iStockphoto/Zephyr18

By Tom Merritt

Tom is an award-winning independent tech podcaster and host of regular tech news and information shows. Tom hosts Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast, and book club with Veronica Belmont. He also hosts Daily Tech News Show, coverin...