Best Practices for Avoiding Ransomware

Best Practices for Avoiding Ransomware

There has been a great deal of escalated ransomware activity around the world. This is very serious and could cause you to lose data if you don’t take the proper precautions. We've provided a quick guide of how we work hard to keep your data safe and how you can take action to keep yourself protected from ransomware.


What is ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts data files by preventing access to them. The data is encrypted with a cryptography key that prevents you from having access to the data. In most cases, a hacker threatens to delete your data if you do not pay the ransom within a specific time period, thus preventing you from attempting to repair the files.


What does Swizznet do to protect your data that is stored on our systems?

• We backup your files on our system and we always have a recent copy available. In addition, we replicate all backups to a secondary site which is approximately 1,700 miles from the primary location.

• Server snap-shots are taken every night so we always have a recent copy of your data, as well as the entire server.

• We have a standby data center ready to go if a disaster strikes. This data center is in a geographically diverse location from our primary location.

• We run anti-virus software and scan all our systems on a regular basis.

• We strictly limit network access and permissions to all data at all times.

• We perform regular software patching and updates.

• Our firewalls are equipped with an active Intrusion Detection System (IDS).

• We have external security scans run by a third-party, once per month.

• We do annual security audits for PCI compliance.

• All of our systems are housed in Internap SOC2 data centers which are protected with the highest level of security.


What can you do to protect yourself?

• Educate yourself; do a search on the word ransomware and read about it so you are educated on the severity of the situation.

• The most important thing you can do is backup your data on a daily basis and keep multiple copies. If you get infected with ransomware your best defense is to revert to a recent backup.

•  Always vet your email contacts. Most ransomware is spread via an email attachment.


Never open an email attachment or click a link in an email if:

• You do not know who the sender is. Look at the From address and if it looks suspicious, delete it immediately.

• The name of the attachment is not something you were expecting or recognize. It is important to understand that some infections can inadvertently be sent to you by people you know. If you are unsure, do not take a risk, contact the sender to verify it’s safe before opening.

• Run a good antivirus on your computer at all times. If you don’t already own something, Windows Defender is a free, reliable product.

• Use your firewall! If you are using a Windows system then you can use the Windows firewall which is built into your system or use a firewall that comes with your antivirus product. If you don’t know how to do this contact your IT professional for assistance.

• Do not visit unverified websites via the browser on your servers on Swizznet.

• Don't share users or logins to the system - especially the admin user for your private cloud on Swizznet.

• If you have a private cloud server, only use your Swizznet server admin user for administrative tasks (trusted program installs, updates to trusted programs). Do not use this account for daily tasks - especially utilizing email and web browsing.


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