Over the past 2-3 years Ransomware has become an ever increasing threat. Forget threats from Virus intrusions it’s now Ransomware

20% of small businesses suffered an outrage as a result of Ransomware in 2016. Ransomware and Crypto are annoying malicious software’s or Malware which infect your computer/ server and takes your data hostage. The owner will then be expected to pay a ransom to the malware designer to release it all. By encrypting all of your files you cannot access your data and put your company at risk of data/ money loss, embarrassment and legal liability.

Unfortunately there is not one solution that will make all of the Malware go away, but if you do the following things, you will have the best chance of avoiding it…

Sophos protection HardSoft

Ransomware Protection HardSoft

Sophos Intercept X benefits

At HardSoft we recommend that you use Sophos Intercept X Endpoint security. Sophos have managed to create a solution which stops the ransomware in its tracks BEFORE it even reaches your machine. It can also pin point exactly where it came from and how. As developers of the Malware are working all of the time to get around these devices, you cannot be 100% secure. Newer, nastier versions are continually updated and released. If however, your machine is infected the Sophos Intercept X will be able to remove and restore your device to its previous working order. Intercept X runs alongside your your current anti- virus protection(doesn’t have to be Sophos)  to add another layer of protection for your PC. We have tried and tested many of the Ransomware solutions available and we are certain that this is the best one for business. We did initially try Malware Bytes Business edition but the software is just too hard to manage. Even installing it is too hard. We are happy to include Sophos Intercept X within your Network leasing package or we can add it to from just £4 per user per month. Spec sheet for Sophos

However good Sophos is there is always a new threat out there so BACK- UP I cannot stress how important it is that you back- up your data. It is imperative that you have copies of your data that can be restored to get you up and working again ASAP. Cloud back up is great but if you are using an external hard drive, you must make sure it is not connected to your server at all times. Crypto will attack all mapped drives, not just local drives. It is prudent to make a back up at least once a week. If you have the data, you can restore your machines using it. Best practice would be to back up to your server, local disk and to cloud back up. Always check your back ups are working, companies that do not have back ups are effected the worst.

All of your staff need to be completing the following tasks… Windows updates, so many people put off doing their updates but these are often in place because they are adding protection against a new or updated threat. Disable remote users, they will not be able to infect the network if they are not attached. Keep your plugins up to date. Ensure users have the correct set up and are not admins, this is important as some ransomware now has the ability to affect all data that the user has access too.

Staff also need to be aware of and reminded to not open dodgy emails, do not click on links that they cannot be sure are from a safe source. If infection is suspected, then tell everyone IMMEDIATELY and disconnect their device from the network! So many people are still using Password as their password. Using an alpha numeric password that is changed regularly will help to protect your devices further still. By educating everyone you will be able to protect on all fronts… you are only as strong as your weakest link!

Cyber Essentials is a government-backed, industry supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber attacks. The government has devised a set of basic technical controls for organisations to use. The scheme enables organisations to gain 1 of 2 Cyber Essentials badges and is backed by industry including the Federation of Small Businesses, the CBI and a number of insurance organisations which are offering incentives for businesses.

There’s an on line questionnaire that gives you a start on what you need to do. If you ‘pass’ then you can consider applying for ‘Cyber Essentials’. It is a more detailed and does need input from an IT expert and there is a fee imposed by the external Accreditors. Since October 2014 ‘Cyber Essentials’ has been mandatory if supplying to Government. This is to be extended and many B2B suppliers will seek this assurance going forwards. Applying for a Cyber Essentials certificate will provide independent assurance that you have the protections correctly in place and will also allow you to display the Cyber Essentials badge.

All Windows based network systems supplied or leased from HardSoft will pass the initial Questionnaire. Hardsoft created a few years ago a ‘Group Policy’ that is installed and includes all these security lockdowns.

As a HardSoft customer we are constantly sending out all of the information and warnings needed to keep you crypto free. Should you experience any problems and we cannot help to get you up and running remotely, you will incur a call out fee – as well as great inconvenience.

To lease a Network of PC’s from HardSoft with inclusive 3 years FREE warranty and telephone technical support give us a call on 0207 111 1643 or email sales@hardsoft.co.uk for your personalised quote. With over 30 years trading IT and as a finance expert we are a one stop shop for all of your IT needs. With an IT help desk on hand for you throughout the duration of your lease, it makes great business sense to lease with HardSoft. 


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