You've probably seen the panicked headlines reporting increased numbers of ransomware attacks. You need to know that as a D.C., your practice could be affected.
by James West in Business Insurance on Thursday, August 18, 2016
At times, it can seem difficult to stay up to date with the latest cybercrimes, let alone to understand which cyber risks are relevant to you. To help with this, we have decided to break down the topic of ransomware so that you can better understand how to prevent this cybercrime from happening at your practice.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a form of cyberattack that uses malware to encrypt data. Once data is encrypted, hackers ask for a ransom payment to decrypt it.
Ransomware can affect everything from personal devices to businesses. Should your practice be hit by a ransomware attack, you could face consequences, including loss of sensitive or proprietary information, disruption of regular operations, expenses to restore access to computer systems and harm to your reputation.
How Can You Protect Your Practice from Ransomware?
There are several steps you can take to help protect your practice from a ransomware attack or demand, including:
- Regular data backups – Backing up your data on a regular basis is a necessary source of protection against ransomware. If you have data backed up and are prepared to restore it, you can avoid having to pay a ransom to obtain data access.
- Having strong and up-to-date security protection – This includes having strong antivirus and firewall programs. Additionally, you should keep your operating systems current and run updates as needed.
- Training employees on data security – Spam emails with malicious links and attachments are a prominent source of ransomware. Employees should be educated on proper data security, including not clicking on suspicious emails, links or attachments.
How Should You Respond to a Ransomware Attack?
If you suspect a ransomware attack has occurred, you should immediately shut off the infected computer(s). These devices then need to be disconnected from your network, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in order to prevent the attack from spreading. You should also contact an IT or support professional as soon as possible for further assistance.
For more information on the ways your practice could be affected by a cyberattack and ways to help prevent it, call NCMIC Insurance Services at 800-769-2000, ext. 8180.