According to a study from Symantec, ransomware attacks have escalated by 500 percent in recent years. Ransomware is software that a hacker uses to infiltrate your network, lock your practice data and demand a ransom from you in order to unlock it. According to FBI.gov, having your data backed up offsite is a key tip to limiting the impact of ransomware.
Here are some additional tips the FBI recommends in dealing with ransomware.
- Make sure employees are aware of ransomware and of their critical roles in protecting the organization’s data.
- Patch operating system, software and firmware on digital devices (which may be made easier through a centralized patch management system).
- Ensure antivirus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and conduct regular scans.
- Manage the use of privileged accounts—no users should be assigned administrative access unless absolutely needed and only use administrator accounts when necessary.
- Configure access controls, including file, directory and network share permissions appropriately. If users only need read specific information, they don’t need write-access to those files or directories.
- Disable macro scripts from office files transmitted over e-mail.
- Implement software restriction policies or other controls to prevent programs from executing from common ransomware locations (e.g., temporary folders supporting popular Internet browsers, compression/decompression programs).
- Back up data regularly and verify the integrity of those backups regularly