In one of the most infamous ransomware cases, hackers hijacked the system of California-based Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center (HPMC). The attack made it impossible to access the center’s network or patient files. After a payment of $17,000, access was restored. But by that time, HPMC had been forced to exist in a primitive, pre-computer world for 10 full days, with additional incalculable losses.
Ransomware poses a growing threat to business. In one recent 10-1/2-month stretch, ransomware incidents increased six-fold over the previous year.
There are several steps companies can take to reduce the threat posed by ransomware, reports Robert Hamaker, Leaders Bank Senior Vice President Operations/IT.
1. Current systems. Maintaining up-to-date operating systems is key, Hamaker says. Also, “keep patches on all software up to date,” he adds. “Update or replace computers/servers that run unsupported operating systems. Make sure the firewall software is up to date.”
2. Avoid intrusions. Most malware enters networks via suspicious looking attachments to email. “Train your network users not to click on anything that is not expected in their email in-boxes,” Hamaker says. “If it looks like junk, it probably is.”
3. Create a plan. Have a plan in place to deal with malware and virus intrusions, Hamaker urges, adding it’s not a matter of if it will happen, but when it will happen.
Before it’s too late, take the steps necessary to ensure important documents remain usable, and that your company doesn’t have to confront the expense and lost productivity of an attack.
Have you been a victim of a ransomware incident?