Install Updates and Security Patches Immediately
It can be difficult to install software updates and security patches regularly across an entire computer network without disrupting day-to-day operations. But delaying these updates opens a window of opportunity that hackers can exploit.
In May 2017, a widespread ransomware attack struck more than 150 countries. In the UK, 16 hospitals and health clinics were infected, forcing them to divert ambulances and cancel appointments. According to security experts, that widespread disruption could have been avoided.
Two months before the attack, Microsoft had issued a patch for the vulnerability that the malware exploited. Microsoft had also updated the protections of its free antivirus software to help shield users. But the affected hospitals hadn’t installed those updates, leaving them vulnerable to the ransomware.
Invest in a Disaster Recovery Plan
The best insurance against ransomware is a reliable, continuous backup. Without a working backup, you will be left with no other options but to pay the ransom in the event of an attack.
Every backup should be tested on a regular basis to verify that it’s ready if needed. Your IT department also needs to have a restoration protocol in place. It’s a good idea to run regular drills to ensure that the disaster recovery plan can be executed immediately if a ransomware attack should occur.