Ransomware Attacks on the Rise

As you may have noticed from recent coverage on all the major television news services, there has been hackers targeting businesses across Australia with some fairly serious consequences.  We thought we’d get some insight into this from local company owner Adam Reeve of Crescent IT Services:

There has been a sharp increase in hackers attacking small and medium businesses Australia-wide.  The hacker breaks in to your business network and encrypts your data so it cannot be accessed.  The hacker then locks the system with a ransom notice, demanding thousands of dollars to provide the password for unlocking your system and business data.

This report was shown on the Channel 9 News highlighting the seriousness of this issue.

So, how can you protect your business?

  • Apply all Windows updates as they are released each month.
  • Have multiple external back-up drives in rotation so that there’s always at least one drive safely disconnected at all times.
  • Remove/disable unnecessary user accounts.
  • Only give administrator access to staff that absolutely require it.
  • Enforce strong passwords (capital letters, numbers, symbols) on all accounts.
  • Set password expiration to a reasonable timeframe – 1-3 months is a good rule of thumb.
  • Configure a lockout policy for occasions when wrong passwords are repeatedly entered in a short timeframe.

Adam warns that these attacks are on the increase, and that while the above suggestions are sound advice – your best bet would be to engage the ongoing managed services of a professional IT services provider.