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The danger of ransomware and how to mitigate the risks

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Earlier this year a research study found that Ransomware attacks quadrupled in 2016 and predicted that they will double again in 2017. Many people may not have heard of Ransomware until recently and many others mistakenly believe that they are protected.

It is a while now since the highly publicised attacks such as the one on the NHS were in the media so it is important to be reminded that the threat is constant and never goes away!

We asked Member and #FSBConnect Peterborough delegate Simon Pell, founder of Wardour Secure Networks, Grantham, what easy steps he would suggest to reduce the risks. He is no stranger to Ransomware attacks and has been approached by several bereft businesses after their entire systems had been encrypted. 

Simon has listed some key points which everyone - individuals and businesses - can do to protect themselves against the threat of Ransomware:

1. Have a current, working backup strategy 
2. Have a good quality Anti-virus programme such as Bitdefender 
3. Always use legal software and avoid pirate copies 
4. Keep your operating system up to date and if the software offers an automatic update option – take it! If you are unsure just use your software providers help content or webchat.
5. Beware of ‘click bait’ stories on the internet 
6. Be cautious when using free Wi-Fi from coffee shops and bars, free might actually cost you more than you think. 
7. Lastly, never open suspicious email or attachments 

Whatever happens, this threat is ever present and new infections and probably more devious ones will occur. Be aware, be smart and keep up to date with these types of threat. Alternatively, find a good IT services provider to do it for you.

Think what your family photos are worth to you or all the hard work you’ve put into building that business over the last few years? If you do not spend time and probably money protecting yourself properly now, then the alternative can be very costly indeed - in more ways than one. 

Please see the Business Bitesize newsletter or the website events listing for details of forthcoming #FSBConnect meetings. ‘FSB Cyber Protection’ provides a helpline and limited insurance designed to support and protect your business at no extra cost and is included with Business Essentials Membership.