From the Cyber Security File:

Recent Ransomware attacks have exposed a weakness in the Windows Operating system (solution is available), leaving businesses in crisis-mode. Here is the good news: Awareness of this cyber menace can only reinforce the need for awareness and training of your employees.

If you have questions about how NexusTek protects clients from this real threat, call 303-773-6464 to speak to one of our IT experts. Or, take our Ransomware Quiz to test yourself (and your staff) and become informed.

Here are some facts:

Q: What is Ransomware and what does it do?

A: Ransomware is malware and more specifically, a worm that encrypts files on your computer and demands a monetary payout to, supposedly, get those files unencrypted.

Q: What are some types of Ransomware?

A: CryptoLocker, WannaCry, Locky, Cryptowall and Cerber are the most common and they are regularly updated by Cyber Villains.

Q: Are there preventative measures I can take to protect my business?

A: A Ransomware attack could cripple your business by encrypting many of your vital computer files that you use to run your business and (in some cases) dramatically impact your revenue and diminish the trust of your customers and partners. Implementing preventative measures can greatly reduce the risk of your organization from becoming another Ransomware statistic.

  • Raise awareness of your end users (employees) through training programs.  They are often the easiest targets of today’s highly-organized cybercrime.
  • Spam filters and authentication for inbound email to prevent phishing scams from reaching your end users.
  • Patch operating systems, software, and firmware on devices. Consider using a centralized patch management system or provider.
  • Contact us to discuss our full list of preventative measures.

Q: What are best practices for IT Security that my IT company should be following?

A: While this list is near endless, here’s a snapshot of the Business Continuity best practices that may save your company in the event of a Ransomware attack:

  • Back up data and test the restoration process regularly (very important). If the backup plan is not tested, you cannot be sure it will be there when you need it.
  • A vulnerability assessment that includes penetration scans (scans must be conducted at least annually)
  • Contact us to discuss our full list of business continuity best practices

Q: What do I do if one of my employees informs me of a Ransomware attack in progress?

A: If you are infected with Ransomware, here are the first things you should do:

  • Isolate the infected computer immediately. Infected systems should be removed from the network as soon as possible to prevent ransomware from attacking the network or share drives.
  • Power-off affected devices that have not yet been completely corrupted…affording your provider time to contain the event and proceed with backup and recovery processes.
  • Paying the ransom should NOT be your first response to an attack. If you do not have a current provider, contact an experienced IT services company to understand your options.
  • Contact us to discuss our full list of business continuity best practices

Q: How does Ransomware enter your system?

A: Here is one of many examples: an end user (employee) unknowingly opens an email from, what they think is a trusted source, and clicks on an attachment or link. This is typically what they call a Phishing scam. Here is a great way to test your staff and management on recognizing phishing scams. Send NexusTek’s Phishing Quiz around the office.

Q: I’ve heard that the cyber criminals using Ransomware demand Bitcoin as payment. Why?

A: Bitcoin is a digital currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. It continues to grow in popularity, not just among cyber criminals, and this form of payment is fairly anonymous and increasingly more difficult to trace.

Q: Is my cell phone safe from a Ransomware attack?

A: Wherever there is a ‘hole’ in an operating system, there is an entry point for cybercriminals. Mobile devices can be just as susceptible to malware as your desktop.

Related Articles and Resources:

Test your staff on IT Security practices and Phishing Scams here: https://www.nexustek.com/tech/quizzes 
More on Cyber Security here: https://www.nexustek.com/blog/category/it-security/

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