What is CryptoLocker and Ransomware?
CryptoLocker is a form of malicious software called “ransomware”. Attackers use ransomware to target computers running Microsoft Windows, and encrypt/lock your valuable files with a “private key” that only they have access to.
This private key is the only thing that can decrypt/unlock your files, and it’s how the attackers hold your files to ransom. The CryptoLocker software displays a message offering to decrypt your files for a fee, and gives you a deadline to pay. After that deadline, your private key is deleted and your files will be permanently locked.
The threat from ransomware is very real, and as such we recommend your business protects itself with the following technologies and practices:
- An Internet firewall. This provides powerful protection from external threats. Your business’ computer network is on the Internet, and a firewall supplied by Gapton Computers will intelligently inspect all Internet traffic attempting to enter your business’ computer network*. Please note that an “all-in-one” Internet router from your Internet supplier will not provide your business with the same level of protection as a firewall supplied by Gapton Computers.
- Desktop anti-virus software. This provides your computers with intelligent protection from the latest threats. Anti-virus software supplied by Gapton Computers is best-in-class and features specific modules designed to block CryptoLocker and ransomware infections*.
- Backups. Use physical storage (external hard drives, NAS drives etc) and off-site or “cloud” backups. A backup solution supplied by Gapton Computers will feature “versioning”, meaning that you will be able to restore from a backup that was performed on a particular date in the past. This is important because many backup solutions do not feature versioning, and should your files become locked, so too will the backups of your files.
- Email spam filter. This helps to block unsolicited and potentially dangerous email. Attackers will often use email in an attempt to entice your users to click a web link or open a file that will unleash ransomware upon your business network.
- Maintenance of your IT systems with our business IT support cover. The continual and intelligent assessment of your IT systems and security policies that we offer as part of a business IT support contract will prove invaluable for your business. Gapton Computers can proactively identify and resolve potential issues, and recommend changes to your business’ IT security practices where necessary.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.
*Annual subscriptions apply.
If you would like to discuss any of the points discussed above, please do not hesitate to call the Gapton Computers team on 01493 603204, or email us via our contact us page.