The recent ransomware/virus attack scare created quite a lot of fear across a cross section of internet users the world over. It even resulted in significant revenue loss for many organisations. But the point is can you safeguard your systems from these kind of virus in anyway? The good news is yes you can.
- Updated Software: One of the biggest reasons for these attacks is the lack of appropriate protection. That is a cardinal mistake. You must remember to maintain updated anti-virus on all your systems. Also the main operating system that you might be using needs to be updated all the time. Even plugins need to be updated.
- Regular Checks: Your database might have information dating back to even 10-20 years sometimes but you need to maintain regular checks for integrity. Also check your back up files to make sure there are no unauthorised encrypted contents might have creeped in.
- Sender Policy Framework: Establishing the SPF is extremely important for your specific domain. This is essentially an email validation mechanism that is designed to avert spam attacks. They undertake this via detecting email spoofing. It is important because this is often the chosen route for most ransomware to reach corporate email boxes.
- Software Restriction Policies: This is another key link in the chain. The SRPs or software restriction policies block binaries running from %APPDATA% and %TEMP% paths. These are generally the chosen locations for ransomware drop.
- Don’t Open Emails From Strangers: Most importantly avoid opening emails from unsolicited senders or complete strangers, especially the attachmet. Most ransomware get launched through these clicks. Never click on a URL contained in an unsolicited e-mail, even if the link seems benign. If you have to access the organisation, it is better to go to the organisation site directly and then open it.
Moreover, it is a good idea to always use secured web browsers for all your internet operations and online transactions. Putting appropriate content controls are extremely important to make sure best practices are in place. While this cannot possibly make your system 100% safe but it sure heightens the security to maximum avoidable levels.