Many businesses question investing in anti-virus software. Cause seriously, what is the worst that could happen if a computer at a business got a virus? Ten years ago, it may not have been a huge deal to receive a virus; you would simply just remove it. Today, however the rise of a new breed of Virus is spreading; a virus that could not only wipe out all of your files (permanently encrypting them), but it could also encrypt all files mapped or connected to your computer. That means if you have a server on the network and you receive a ransomware virus; it could not only encrypt your files but the entire server as well.
So what exactly is Ransomware anyway?
Ransomware is a malicious virus program that typically gets installed on your computer through a trojan (another type of virus you can easily get), although it can be installed directly as well. It can come in the form of an email that doesn’t even appear suspicious or it can come from virtually any link in just a regular browser such as Google or Bing. Once Ransomware gets on your computer, it begins by making itself nearly nonexistent and unnoticeable; then it begins encrypting all of your files virtually destroying them. The only sign that it is encrypting files is an unusually increase in computer slowness or just noticing something odd about your files. Otherwise it is impossible to know what it is doing until much of the damage is already done. Once the files are encrypted, Ransomware gives you a kind popup telling you what it has done and asking you for a “ransom.” They ask for a large amount of money in order to get your files back. The truth is the crooks only give you your files back less than 50% of the time after you give them the money. So this is one of the few types of viruses that can actually infest your machine and destroy files. Don’t worry, however, there is hope to protecting yourself from Ransomware.
How to Protect yourself from Ransomware!
First of all, there is no anti-virus software out there that can protect you from 100% of all viruses. This is mostly because viruses are constantly being worked on and updated to fight against these anti-virus programs. There are however great anti-virus software solutions that do protect against most viruses. The one we at Alltech4u use the most and recommend to many is the Symantec Business anti-virus solution. After 17 years of experience, we believe that it prevents the most viruses from attacking computers. But I’m sure you’re wondering…
Will it protect against Ransomware?
Because Ransomware keeps evolving, even Symantec protects itself by stating that it can’t “guarantee” against it. So the greatest protection against Ransomware is a combination of an Anti-Virus software like Symantec and a backup solution that protects your files just in case something happens. There are mainly three different types of backup solutions: Cloud, Local, and Offsite. The benefit of cloud backups is that it is usually inexpensive and the files are really easy to get to plus they are completely safe from getting stolen unless someone knows your password. The downside is that if you do lose your files, through ransomware for instance, downloading tons and tons of files from the cloud takes a lot longer than from a local drive or even an offsite backup. Local and Offsite backups are physical backups of your data and are great to have, mainly because of the ease of retrieving files. Downloading off of a physical drive is also much quicker. Usually what we recommend is a combination of two of these three backups plus an anti-virus solution so that just in case something happened you’re protected. Your business’ files are the lifeline of the business and protection of these files is our number one priority.