What is Ransomware and how to protect your company

The digital world has created countless benefits for businesses, regardless of the size, but the use of these technologies also creates a vulnerability to cyber warfare. This is true whether you store data, copywrite or licence software, maintain customer information, manage employee records, or accept credit/interact. In any of these situations, your business is at risk of a cyber attack. We want to help you minimize the chance that a cyber attack occurs and protect you if one does. The best way to reduce the likelihood of a cyber attack is to be aware of your company’s risks. After all, you can not be prepared for something that you can’t anticipate.

One form of a cyber attack is called ransomware.

Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts files or locks users out of devices sent by an attacker, who demands a ransom in exchange for the data. Common ways to contract ransomware are through malicious spam or unsolicited emails.

Today, we were informed of a potential ransomware attack on the Newfoundland and Labrador health services, primarily affecting Eastern Health. It is causing a significant impact to thousands of patients, leading to the cancellation of all but emergency procedures.

Some tips to prevent a ransomware attack on your company are as follows:

  • Keep your operating systems up to date.
  • Do not install software or give access of your computer to anyone except your IT department.
  • Install the suitable anti-virus software for your company.
  • Back up your files frequently and automatically.
  • Develop a protocol for reporting incidents of ransomware and other suspicious cyber activity.
  • Educate yourself and your staff on how to detect and prevent an attack.
  • Don’t open email attachments if you do not know/ trust the source.

If an attack does occur it is essential to contact local law officials as soon as possible. Next, you should call your insurance broker to confirm your insurance coverage. It is recommended you purchase Cyber Liability Insurance that not only helps you respond to threats but can also help cover the cost of the ransom and any other losses incurred as a result of cyber extortion.

For more information on Cyber Insurance for your company, please call Mike at 709-726-4498.

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