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11 ways to fight off ransomware

Ryan Francis | June 29, 2016
These tips will help keep your PC safe from malware.

Reinventing malware

Just like evolution from viruses, to botnets and malware families that we've seen over the past decade, bad actors continue to find new ways of reinventing old threats. Today, the top trend in modern malware is the proliferation of ransomware. Ransomware has come a long way from the non-encrypting lockscreen FBI scare warnings like Reveton. In 2016, there has been a constant flow of new ransomware families popping up, like Locky, Cerber, Madeba and Maktub, and this is only expected to pick up steam over the summer. Ransomware is very damaging. Nick Bilogorskiy , senior director threat operations at Cyphort, shares seven tips to help fend off ransomware attacks. More tips are provided near the end of the slideshow by Alert Logic

Install the latest patches for your software, especially Adobe, Microsoft and Oracle apps

A common way in for ransomware is via exploit kits, like Angler. These bundle many application vulnerabilities into one kit, and try drive-by exploits for each one in sequence. The more your apps are outdated, the more likely, some of these exploits might work and infect you with ransomware.

Use network protection

A very important part of a comprehensive security strategy is to use network traffic monitoring system that is based on machine learning and behavior analysis. As most of these attacks come in via internet channels, make sure your network protection can parse and analyze both email and web traffic.

Use a comprehensive endpoint security solution with behavioral detection

The endpoint (user's computer) is whether the ransomware infection takes place. So it is important to use a modern security solution here as well, with a signature-less approach. Signature-less approach, aka behavior detection is the only way to catch zero-day threats, that are new and do not have signatures written for them yet.

Turn Windows User Access Control on

Windows has added this security feature to help you stay in control of your computer by informing you when a program makes a change that requires administrator-level permission. UAC works by adjusting the permission level of your user account. If you're doing tasks that can be done as a standard user, such as reading e‑mail, listening to music, or creating documents, you have the permissions of a standard user-even if you're logged on as an administrator. Take full advantage of it.

Be skeptical: Don't click on anything suspicious

Don't click on any emails or attachments you don't recognize, and avoid suspicious websites altogether. As most of the infections come from user action - opening attachments or visiting websites, being vigilant is the most effective way to minimize damage.

 

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