Ransomware is a frequently reported topic, and it is possibly only a matter of time before a significant attack takes place and impacts a considerable number of people and businesses. Here are some behaviour changes to help protect yourself.
- Email Threat Awareness – DO NOT open attachments or click on links unless you trust and can verify the source. Links to malicious websites and opening attached files can result in the installation of ransomware and encryption of data. Curiosity encrypted the cat!
- Patch Management – Keep your operating system and software applications up to date. Software vendors are continuously updating their software to remove identified vulnerabilities. If your software is no longer supported or maintained by the vendor, consider using an alternative product.
- Pirated Software – DO NOT download software from peer-to-peer file sharing sites; including avoiding licence key generators and other software cracks. Threat actors alter versions of legitimate software to deploy malware. Also, as pirated software is unlicensed, security patches and further updates will not be available, leaving exploitable vulnerabilities in place.
- Anti-malware – Keep all malware removal and protection software up to date. If a website popup tells you that your system is infected, it is most likely Scareware, designed to manipulate you into buying software to fix a non-existent problem; which in turn can deliver malware to your computer. Use a trusted brand.
- Software Clutter Clearing – Remove software packages from your computers along with any browser plugins that are no longer required
These behaviour changes will help reduce risk, but remember that security will never be 100% guaranteed.
Robert is an information security consultant with over 20 years of experience across a diverse range of organisations, both in the UK and internationally. Robert graduated in 1997 with an honours degree in software engineering for security and safety-critical systems. Robert is contactable directly through LinkedIn.