Ransomware Prevention Tips from the FBI
A recent article posted on the FBI website focuses on ransomware: it’s becoming more sophisticated and ransomware threats are proliferating. Historically, ransomware was delivered through spam e-mails, but because e-mail systems got better at filtering out spam, cyber criminals turned to spear phishing e-mails targeting specific individuals.
The FBI provided tips on ransomware which are listed below. While these are aimed primarily at organizations and their employees, some are also applicable to individual users.
- Make sure employees are aware of ransomware and of their critical roles in protecting the organization’s data.
- Patch operating system, software, and firmware on digital devices (which may be made easier through a centralized patch management system).
- Ensure antivirus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and conduct regular scans.
- Manage the use of privileged accounts—no users should be assigned administrative access unless absolutely needed, and only use administrator accounts when necessary.
- Configure access controls, including file, directory, and network share permissions appropriately. If users only need read specific information, they don’t need write-access to those files or directories.
- Disable macro scripts from office files transmitted over e-mail.Implement software restriction policies or other controls to prevent programs from executing from common ransomware locations (e.g., temporary folders supporting popular Internet browsers, compression/decompression programs).
Business Continuity Efforts
- Back up data regularly and verify the integrity of those backups regularly.
- Secure your backups. Make sure they aren’t connected to the computers and networks they are backing up.
To read more on the FBI’s recommendations and information regarding ransomware click here