Every now and again, a certain virus or trojan makes enough noise and causes enough damage to warrant serious media attention. Recently, the Cryptolocker virus has been in the media thanks to it’s devious ways of secretly encrypting user data and demanding a ransom before it will unlock the data it’s holding hostage. Symantec recently named the Cryptolocker as as it’s “Menace of the Year”.
The best and easiest way to avoid the Cryptolocker, or any other virus for that matter, is to make sure you simply don’t click on any links or attachments from unrecognized senders in your inbox. At this time of year lots of people are tracking shipments for holiday gifts they’ve purchased online, and often the links come poorly disguised as shipment emails, asking the reader to click a link to track a package. Or, they’ll arrive in the form of an email attachment claiming to be an invoice or bill that needs to be paid. Regardless of how it shows up, savvy Internet users should know NOT to click on suspicious links or attachments.
Some users unfortunately still click on these links or attachments since they can sometimes look like they were sent by a legitimate sender. In these instances, a business can protect it’s data by making sure it has up to date anti-virus programs as well as some managed network security such as a firewall.
Here at MegaNet, we provide server-level anti-virus scanning for many of our commercial email clients, and subscribers to our SpamCan service also get the advantage of our server-level spam filtering stopping many emails that contain viruses before they even reach their user inboxes. Of course, local anti-virus programs help provide a second level of defense against viruses that show up in the form of an infected attachment, so businesses should make sure they’re protected everywhere they can be.
In the event that a virus such as Cryptolocker is able to evade anti-spam and anti-virus protection, having a firewall that has web blocking and filtering enabled is another huge step towards protecting users and their data. We’re an authorized WatchGuard partner, and their firewalls have two different ways they can protect users. Both WebBlocker and Reputation Enabled Defense help stop machines from either downloading infected attachments, or in a worst case scenario, they can immediately stop infected computers from secretly reaching out to the servers that can cause the most damage. With Cryptolocker, a managed firewall will stop the infected computers from reaching the servers that encrypt the user data. So even though the computer is infected, the virus can’t do it’s job, and the infected machine can be cleaned before any damage is done.
Viruses and potential data loss can devastate a company that’s not prepared or protected. If your company does not have server-level anti-spam and anti-virus scanning along with an up to date firewall, your users are at a high risk for data loss and security intrusions such as the Cryptolocker. We’ll be happy to talk to you in detail about your network and current security protection, and see if there are ways we can help protect your company against data loss and intrusion.
If your business is concerned with security, download our free eBook ”Managed Security: Providing Enhanced Protection At A Lower Cost” to help determine the best methods to help keep your company protected.