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Don't let ransomware kill your business

Don't let ransomware kill your business
Highwaystarz | Dreamstime.com

In 2016 alone, cybercriminals were able to earn $1B by spreading ransomware. If you're a business owner, and you don't find this number shocking, there's a good chance you're not taking the threat of ransomware seriously. It's not a matter of if your small business will be hit, it's a matter of when.

Ransomware is impacting more businesses than you realize, it's just that you don't always hear about. According to a recent survey, around 50 percent of businesses have been impacted by ransomware. It's just not making the news because they're paying the ransoms quietly. Click here to see the shocking revelations IT professionals from small businesses and large corporations have fessed up to.

The good news is, protecting your business from ransomware and other cybersecurity threats doesn't have to be complicated. There are simple ways to be proactive and to ensure you've covered all of your bases. Here are the top three things you can begin doing today to safeguard your company against this growing cyberthreat.

1. Patch your system

Hackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities that give them an open door. And, sadly, they're sometimes one step ahead of software developers.

This is why it's even more critical that you constantly update your system. Keep up to date with the most current operating systems and software patches. Microsoft issues a patch for its products each month, and Apple releases software updates as needed. If you fall behind on these critical updates, your entire network will be more susceptible to viruses.

Tip within a tip: Think your computer might already have a virus? Click here to learn the warning signs.

Beyond that, it's important that you don't skip protecting your business with a strong firewall, spam filter, and anti-virus software.

2. Train your employees

It's true: You're only as strong as your weakest link. And while you love and respect each of your employees, any one of them could make you vulnerable to a ransomware attack if you haven't trained them on what to look for.

There are several ways your employees could accidentally infect your entire system with ransomware. Here are the most common:

  • Using third-party applications like Dropbox, Slack or Spotify on business computers.
  • Clicking on websites or advertisements for personal reasons knowing the link may not be secure.
  • Falling prey to phishing or social engineering scams that look like everyday business requests. (Click here to see an example.)
  • Using business computers to access personal accounts on social media or email during working hours.

Cybersecurity training for employees is the first step in preventing an accidental infection of your system. Every employee should understand they're not to trust unsolicited emails, click on suspicious attachments or links, and especially be wary of emails claiming to be from you that request any sort of private information.

3. Have a backup plan

If you've taken the right steps, you won't have to worry about losing everything to a ransomware attack. All of your sensitive data can be backed up automatically. And, if you're targeted, everything you've backed up can be easily recovered. It's as simple as signing up for Carbonite's backup service.

Most organizations tend to react to situations when they happen, rather than planning for them in advance. You should never believe that your company is too small or too specialized to be targeted by cybercriminals. 

Carbonite gives you complete peace of mind, even if your computers go to pieces out of nowhere or your system is infected with ransomware. Carbonite is a sponsor of the Kim Komando Show and Komando.com, but what you might not know is that we actually use it here at the studios.

If you don't know what Carbonite does, it automatically and securely backs up your important files to its remote servers. That way, they're safe no matter what happens.

With Carbonite, you can access your files from anywhere by logging into your account on Carbonite.com or using the Carbonite Mobile app for your smartphone or tablet. And restoring files is easy. Click here to see step-by-step instructions.

If you aren't using Carbonite, you really should. You'll love the convenience and protection it offers. You'll never have to worry about losing an important file again.

Get peace of mind today! Carbonite offers automatic cloud backup for files, photos and more. Get two free bonus months when you sign up, and use promo code KIM at checkout.

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