Your organization can invest a lot of time, money and effort in purchasing and setting up security to protect your IT environment, but it only takes one simple staff action to expose your business and leave your company vulnerable to a ransomware outbreak.

The good news is that since most ransomware attacks require some form of action from a user to initiate the attack, whether that be clicking a link or opening an infected file, even if a ransomware threat manages to get through your security there could still be a chance to stop an outbreak.

This is why the people in your organization are the first and last line of defence in the fight against ransomware.

Ransomware Education: Here are our top tips on how to spot Ransomware, and what to do if you think you have been attacked.

Keep up to date on scams.

Online scams tend to evolve very quickly so it is important to know the latest tricks being used by cyber criminals and to keep your staff aware of this. You can subscribe to alerts from the Australian Government via https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au

In general most organizations will not you emails with links or attachments, or requiring you to complete actions online, so if you do receive something like this from what appears to be a reputable organization, treat it as suspicious. If in doubt, contact them to confirm if they did in fact send you something

Double check the email

Most fraudulent emails will give themselves away through simple spelling mistakes, poorly worded sentences or generally bad English. Re-read any suspicious emails and you should pick up on this. Also check the reply address. You may notice it does not match up with the sender address and in fact goes to a completely different domain name.

Avoid opening links and attachments in emails

Ransomware emails will contain links that take you to a site different than what is displayed in the link. Most organizations will never send you emails with links or attachments so if you receive any, copy and paste the link into your browser or go to their website and browse manually to get to the page you need. If there is an attachment, is it something you requested? If not, check with the sender before opening.

Avoid untrusted sites

A lot of malware is delivered through malicious or infected websites, so it is best to avoid questionable websites, such as those involved with illegal downloads. Also be wary of sites which try to piggyback off legitimate sites and products, such as those offering free downloads of popular software, offering tech support for online services such as Facebook and Hotmail or masquerading as agents of these organizations.

Watch out for scareware

Scareware is used to try and fool you into downloading and installing malicious software or even calling a tech support number and giving the attackers direct access to your machine by pretending that your machine is infected or that you are being monitored by the government or police. Avoid any instructions in these alerts and perform a full scan of your machine to remove any malicious files.

If infected, go offline and report it

If you suspect your machine has become infected with ransomware or any form of malware, disconnect it from the network and turn it off immediately. This will prevent the attack spreading further onto other machines or files across the network and can sometimes also prevent the attack spreading on the machine itself as some ransomware needs an Internet connection to carry out its attack.

Worried about the effects of Ransomware?
Speak to the experienced team at Stanfield IT onĀ 1300 910 333