By Hannah Sang, Published Thursday, 21st October 2021
You’ve probably heard of it, and you know it’s not good news. Here’s what you need to know about ransomware and what you can do about it.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to encrypt your data so that you can’t get to it unless you pay. Even if you do pay up, the criminals are not guaranteed to release the files. It’s a better idea to use backups to restore the encrypted system, but this is time-consuming and expensive. Criminals are aware of this method and are now often using ‘double-extortion’, threatening to make the data publicly available on the Dark Web if they don’t get the money they demand.Small and Medium businesses are increasingly targeted by ransomware attacks and the average ransom demand is around $84,000. Even if the ransom isn’t paid, the average cost of getting back to normal after an attack was $59k (£43k) in 2020. Cyber attacks are on the rise across the world – in the USA, a huge 55% of SMBs reported suffering some kind of cyber attack over the last two years. The solution – ThreatLocker
ThreatLocker is like having a firewall around each of your applications, rather than just around your company’s internet access. It gives you a granular level of control that’s a truly powerful defence against cyber attacks – one that Datcom is now recommending to all our clients.What makes ThreatLocker different from your existing AV products? ThreatLocker has a ‘Zero trust’ approach, using whitelisting instead of blacklisting. Rather than approving all files other than those flagged on a blacklist, it only allows products you have pre-approved – in other words, if your name’s not down, you’re not coming in.ThreatLocker also has something called ‘ringfencing’. This gives you security within trusted products. Take MS Word, for example. We all know this is a trusted application, but it can be weaponised by criminals. ThreatLocker prevents this by blocking Word from accessing websites or other software that could be malicious. If all this sounds like ThreatLocker might have too much control for your liking – don’t worry. If a user tries to open a piece of genuine software that’s not trusted, they can request access. Your company’s IT admins can then decide whether to deny access, allow it for a short period or permanently, on that particular computer or across your entire business, at the click of a button. You’re always in control.ThreatLocker can also block access to removable storage and files areas. You can choose whether to block all USB storage devices or allow specific individual devices based on their model or serial number. Do your team members sometimes move or delete files accidentally? ThreatLocker also logs every file access made by users and software, giving you reliable reporting on what’s going on around your business. We don’t want you to be among the rising number of SMBs suffering at the hands of criminals, so get in touch if you’d like to discuss how ThreatLocker can work for you.
By Hannah Sang
Hannah is Sales Director for Datcom. Hannah has over 16 years of experience in the IT industry, advising organisations on IT solutions and cybersecurity.