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Protect Yourself from Cyber Attacks

January 16, 2017


What would you do if your data was taken from you overnight?

Think about your most irreplaceable, confidential data. Now, imagine it in the hands of an anonymous cyber attacker. If the worst happened, would you have a game plan for safely recovering your data? Being prepared for a ransomware attack is the most important step to preventing it.

Ransomware is a type of cyber attack in which attackers target businesses and commandeer their important data. When a computer or system is infected, ransomware encrypts data, effectively locking owners out of their own data; attackers hold the data hostage, only decrypting the data in exchange for fees of up to $50,000. According to a recent international study by Malwarebytes, Canadian businesses are at a greater risk than almost any country in the world for lost revenue and productivity in the event of a ransomware attack. These attacks are costly, time-consuming, and in some cases, can put your clients at risk. The study noted that finance and healthcare are among the most vulnerable industries. Although dozens of Canadian companies have disclosed that they paid cyber attackers to get their data back, the Malwarebytes study has a silver lining–51% of Canadian businesses surveyed claimed that they were confident they safely defend themselves from a ransomware attack. So, how can you count yourself among safe Canadian businesses and take steps to protect your data before a ransomware attack occurs? 

  1. Back up Your Data – Do you have a reliable, routine method of backing up your important data? Back up your data safely and frequently to ensure nothing is lost in the event of a cyber attack or hard drive failure. FoxNet can protect your data by storing it on Canadian servers, and in multiple places. Having multiple backups of your data means that if you experience a ransomware attack, only one copy of your data will be affected. If you have your data stored in multiple locations, you won’t feel pressured to pay the fees that ransomware attackers demand to decrypt your data.
  2. Stay on Top of Hacking Trends – Knowledge is power when it comes to any type of cyber attack. Make sure you’re aware of current cyber threat trends, so that you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your data.
  3. Don’t Dismiss Software Updates – Updating Adobe Flash or Java can be a pain, but these updates exist to protect you. When software companies detect security vulnerabilities in their software, they create patches and updates to eliminate those vulnerabilities. The longer you postpone a software update, the more you’re putting yourself at risk for cyber attacks.
  4. Toughen up Access Control & Tighten Network Security – Ensure that your passwords would be impossible for even your closest friends and family members to guess. Don’t share your passwords with anyone, not even trusted co-workers. Keep your passwords complex, and reset them often to ensure attackers can’t easily hack into your data.
  5. Remove Autofill Forms – If your website contains any autofill forms, your site is vulnerable to any security risks stemming from a user’s device being stolen. While autofill might save your users time, the security risk is not worth it.
  6. Use a Firewall – Web application firewalls can block all hacking attempts, and they will also filter out all other types of unwanted traffic.
  7. Install Security Applications and Keep Them Updated – Install and regularly use security applications, like antivirus and malware applications. Make sure you update their databases on a regular basis, to help ensure that your security applications are ready to defend you against all current cyber attack trends.
  8. Use SSL – Security Sockets Layer, or SSL, establishes an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data exchanged  between the server and the browser remains private. Use SSL to keep your web activity private and impenetrable to cyber attacks.
  9. Email Security – Having an anti-phishing/anti-spam/anti-malware solution can block potentially dangerous mail before it even enters your inbox, which is one of the main avenues through which Ransomware enters an organization. FoxNet uses ZeroSpam as a main tool for Email Security, and it generally blocks 40-50% of incoming emails due to Spam/Malware/Phishing.

Know that your data is backed up safely on Canadian servers, in multiple locations, when you trust FoxNet with your data. Visit our website or call our office at 519-886-8895 to inquire about data storage solutions. Want to get on top of your IT security but aren’t sure where to start? Contact us for an IT Health Check and let us help you keep your networks and data safe.

 

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