In the past week reports of a ransomware attack on Lincolnshire County Council has hit the headlines. A ransomware attack is a virus which locks a device such as a computer, tablet or smart phone and then demands a ransom to unlock it.
Reports from the council have shown that they dealt with the attack by going back to traditional methods, telephone calls instead of emails as well as pen and paper. When looking at how to protect yourself from similar attacks it is worth looking to see if you can rebuild your systems from your back-ups, or at least recover the vital information. Too many people take backups of their data without knowing what they can do with the data should they ever need to call on it. Unfortunately, the issue is that by the time you find out that you cannot rebuild your systems from the backup it is often too late.
Test to see if you can rebuild the integral parts of your systems from back ups. This must be on an unconnected server that is not linked to the original network. This is to ensure that if the original network is compromised, your back up will be still be safe. If you use an IT in place to help rebuild systems. Do they have a virtual environment that they can test the viability of your back ups? Ask your in house IT support to create a virtual environment to ensure that you can recover from an attack. Get it tested regularly, especially when updates and new systems are introduced.