If you’ve seen the news lately, you probably heard about the new virus on the block. But what is ransomware? It’s a software that locks you out of your computer and demands you pay a ransom to regain access to it. Hackers attacked lots of organisations in different countries - including the NHS - earlier this year, in the hope of scoring big money. It is not surprising that the hotel sector appeals to them just as much.
Think about the customer data you’ve got right now. Credit card numbers, addresses and birthdates are all valuable to hackers. You can imagine how bad it would be if hackers got hold of all this. In a KPMG report last year, 58% of consumers said a data breach would put them off using a business in the future. Luckily, we’ve got some tips to protect your business from ransomware.
Know where ransomware comes from
There are three big ways for the ransomware virus to get into your system. These are dodgy email attachments, accidental or ‘drive-by’ downloads and compromised websites.
Dodgy attachments can be Word files that ask you to turn on macros when you open them, or an Executable (EXE) file disguised as a PDF. Compromised sites may host exploit kits, which look for faults in your system and, as the name suggests, exploit them. And drive-by downloads get you to download something accidentally or without knowing what it is.
The best thing you can be is careful. Disable macros so attachments can’t get you. Don’t download content or click on links that you don’t need to, weren’t expecting, or look suspicious. Grammar errors and jumbled text are warning signs. Turn on your email’s spam filter to help stop dodgy mail reaching you, and never, ever share any personal information with a sender or form you don’t trust.
The 3-2-1 backup rule gives you a decent number of backups of your data, acting as a solid foundation for ransomware protection in your business. And if you get attacked, you won’t have to worry about long of periods of system downtime.
For the rule, you keep three copies of your data: the primary copy and two backups. If your primary copy becomes faulty, you’ve got others. You store two of your copies on different sources, like an external hard drive or the cloud (more on this below). And you keep one of these copies offsite, in the event of a ransomware attack on a local or network computer. This could be on a device that isn’t connected to your network, or in the cloud.
A cloud system usually comes with malware scanning, enhanced authentication and other features that help stop ransomware attacks. You don’t have to worry about updating these applications as they tend to update automatically in the background. Which means no downtime for you. Hooray!
Those updates will save you cash and time, too, which you can spend improving your already excellent infrastructure and customer experience. If a hacker gets hold of your data, it will be a headache for you and your customers. That’s why we’re offering a free IT audit all summer. We’ll check your network security and see if there are any risks. If we find anything, we’ll give you advice on how to make this better.
Fast Advice for Staying Safe
Want to learn more about cyber security but don't have all day? Our Quick Guide to Cyber Security has all the information you need to get smarter and make your business more secure. And you can read it in a matter of minutes.