As a key threat affecting businesses and individuals at the moment, ransomware has already affected countless brands. As the name suggests ransomware involves a request for ransom in exchange for the return of precious company data. Attackers use encryption, an IT security strategy traditionally used to stop sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands, to take control data, making it virtually impossible for the victim to get it back.

The NHS is just one of the big names that has fallen victim to ransomware attack, and it appears no organisation is safe. Overall 54% of UK companies have been hit by ransomware, attacks that have led to huge pay-outs, lost data, diminished revenue and poor recovery. Not all is lost however. As an established supplier of IT services, support and consultancy, our local IT specialists are on hand to help you should the worst happen. We serve clients throughout Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas to provide proactive IT help for businesses from all industry sectors. Our emergency IT support has assisted those facing sudden and critical IT failures, including ransomware attacks.

In this blog post, we share our top tips for protecting your business against the very real threat of ransomware.

Deploy content scanning and filtering

Unfortunately, most instances of ransomware attack are the result of human error. Ransomware after all has to gain access to your network and in many cases, it’s the actions of employees that provide the perfect point of entry. Content scanning, email filtering and web filtering are just some of the tactics used by IT service providers like us to prevent attackers from encrypting your system in the first place.

Emails from unknown sources leave systems particularly vulnerable, and these emails may be disguised as a business enquiry, personal giveaway or personalised note to conceal the ransomware lurking within. Scanning and filtering systems work to detect potential threats, giving you and your employees the protection you need to open emails and browse the web safely and consistently.

Rely on reputable antivirus protection

Your antivirus and firewall will provide a vital defence against ransomware, so ensure you install software from a reputable source and update it when prompted. We say a reputable source as unfortunately there is a lot of fake software out there, and the way it’s marketed is pretty convincing. Your IT support specialist will provide you with the information you need regarding the best antivirus protection and firewall for your business and budget.

Backing up on a regular basis will also aid recovery should you find yourself the target of a ransomware attack.

Know what to do should ransomware strike

Being prepared for the worst is a vital part of protecting your business from all manner of IT security threat. Whilst recent findings revealed that 58% of UK businesses targeted with ransomware paid up, it is recommended that you do not pay. Your injection of cash not only puts a burden on your own bottom line but will encourage and fund other ransomware attacks.

If you fall victim to ransomware, you or your IT support provider should report the incident to ActionFraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre.

A specialist IT Company based in Corby, Northamptonshire, Syntec Systems provide expert IT Solutions and IT Support services to businesses in the local area. Syntec Systems specialise in IT Management, IT Consultancy and IT Procurement, and their experienced technicians also offer a 24/7 helpdesk service to help resolve untimely IT Issues for all businesses with no prior contract.