technology

How to protect yourself against ransomware attack!

The RPS205 network was recently hit by a ransomware attack which disabled network for days

“Public entities are being attacked with ransomware, malware and malicious computer viruses at a staggering rate”
– RPS205 board minutes

Ransomware is devastating malware variant costing organizations $11.5 billion in 2019

What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is defined as vicious malware that locks users out of their devices or blocks access to files until a sum of money or ransom is paid. Ransomware attacks cause downtime, data loss, possible intellectual property theft, and in certain industries an attack is considered a data breach.

Prevention
The best way to prevent an infection is to not rely on just one solution, but to use multiple, layered solutions for the best possible protection.

1. Security Awareness Training
It’s easier to prevent malware infections if you know what to look for. If you understand the latest techniques cybercriminals are using, the easier it will be to avoid. Know your enemy! Take an active approach to educating yourself by watching a security awareness training video.

2. Internet Security Products
There are many commercial products that will help you avoid all malware infections, but understand that none of them are 100% effective. The cyber criminals are always looking for weaknesses in security products and promptly take advantage of them.

3. Antivirus Software
While antivirus is highly recommended, you should have multiple layers of protection in place. It is not wise to solely rely on antivirus software to keep your PC secure, as it cannot prevent infections from zero-day or newly emerging threats.

The list of antivirus products below was proven the most effective at preventing malware from AV-Test.org

  • Avira Antivirus Pro
  • Kaspersky Internet Security
  • Bitdefender Internet Security
  • Norton Security
  • Trend Micro Internet Security

4. AntiMalware Software
Most anti-malware software like MalwareBytes is designed to run alongside Antivirus products, and it’s recommended you have both in place.

5. Whitelisting Software
Whitelisting offers the best protection against malware and virus attacks. Whitelisting software allows only known good software that you approve to run or execute on your system. All other applications are prevented from running or executing.

6. Backup Solutions
In the event of a catastrophic attack or complete system failure, it’s essential to have your data backed up. Many have been able to quickly and fully recover from an attack because their data was backed up and safe. We recommend using one of the following online storage services and an external hard drive (that you disconnect after the backup) at the same time as the best possible backup solutions like:

Source:
https://www.knowbe4.com/ransomware

Courses & Degrees 
If interested in becoming a cyber security specialists or just take a course to better educate yourself then look into the many pathways at Rock Valley College.

If you have questions, click here to connect to a CIS department advisor at Rock Valley College.

In this course (Intro to Network Security), students perform weekly labs focusing on white hat (ethical) hacking skills. Lab examples are password cracking, man-in-the-middle attacks, and malicious code. Learn about how hackers think and act in order to locate and exploit vulnerabilitiZes. This course is designed for students with no IT Security knowledge!

Watch Demo of Ransomware Attack