Tools to Prevent Ransomware

Ransomware update from RTS (stemmed from an email to clients)

Just a quick note on the current round of Ransomware making the news:

I just wanted to drop everyone a personal note letting you know we are staying up to date and taking the WannaCry Ransomware/Virus threat seriously. We are making every possible effort to mitigate the impact on our customers. With that being said, the biggest thing we can’t control is the human factor. Be diligent out there guys and gals and don’t click on emails that contain links or attachments you aren’t expecting. This one is currently spread initially through email (and then once inside a network can potentially spread through other means) and that could mean your work email as well as any personal accounts so please be careful on those as well or just don’t check them at all from your work PC’s.

So what have we got to protect you:

1st: Spam/Email Virus Filtration-if you have our SPAM protection it has built in virus filtration as well. It’s our first line for keeping you from even getting that email with the evil link or attachment to begin with.

2nd: Open DNS Content Filtration-If you do happen to get the email and you do open it, OpenDNS should keep it from talking back to its “creator” and generating the encryption key that is required to encrypt or “scramble” all your files rendering it impotent (sorry, that word seemed to fit).

3rd: Antivirus and Anti-ransomware- If you haven’t kept up, antivirus isn’t enough these days, we need antivirus, anti-malware, and now anti-ransomware. Each of these classifications of threats has unique qualities so believe it or not, we need software tuned to each different kind of threat. We’ve got that. So (hopefully) if you click on the link or attachment and before the ransomware encrypts all your files, anti-ransomware or antivirus should kick in and stop it before it does anything. We’ve made sure all anti-virus has been updated with the latest virus definitions including the latest version of this threat available.

4th: Microsoft Patches- This may seem like it should be higher up the list, but yes, Microsoft has released patches for all supported (and even a few unsupported) Operating Systems including Windows 7, 8, 10, Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016 and they’ve even gone back and release patches for the versions of Windows they’ve stopped supporting in the last few years-Windows XP, Vista, and Server 2003. We’ve been working diligently to verify that this patch is applied to all of our client’s machines that have our R-Essential Apps in place.

5th: Backups-If it just so happened that the virus was brand new (like newer than that day new) and it got through all of this AND you opened it! Well, that’s why we make sure and push everyone to have good backups that backup every few hours. The last line of defense is restoring your files from backup.

So there you go, our suite of product working together to keep you safe…now if you have a friend who lives life on the edge and doesn’t have R-Essential Apps in place and they do happen to get this virus…we know of a bitcoin ATM and can help them pay the ransom because that may be the last option available to them. I have a blog up about this (link below) if you want to know more. We have seen that paying the ransom on this one may not be as effective as previous versions so no warranties on that.

Now for my lawyer friends, we’re not necessarily guarantying anyone is safe from ever getting this or another virus or ransomware with our tools in place, we are simply highlighting the preventative measures we are taking to try to help keep you safe. As I listed above, the human factor still exists. We’ll try everything in our power, but we can’t anticipate every possibility either.

Blog here…I promise this link is safe(ish)

Musings on and Defining Ransomware and Cryptolocker…

 

Richline Technical Services is a Managed IT Services Provider headquartered in Corpus Christi, TX. We provide helpdesk and network management to small and medium businesses as well as consulting and network design services to large companies, city and county governments as well as school districts.

Josh Richline is one of the Owners of RTS and is certified by Microsoft, Citrix, ShoreTel, Sonicwall, Lifesize, Ruckus, US Sailing and others. He specializes in VoIP, large networking projects and sailing.

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