The Petya cyber attack
is a ransomware attack that has whacked computer systems right around the globe, and Australia is no exception. Several high profile Australian companies have been hit, including the Cadbury factory in Hobart, The TNT Transport company, and Legal firm DLA Piper
The malware locks computer files with unbreakable encryption and then demands a ransom in bitcoin to decrypt them again.
So as a small business, how do you avoid becoming another victim?
A small business has one advantage that the bigger corporations do not have, this is agility. A small business does not have the technical challenges that larger businesses have. You have less technology to maintain. This is the key.
So what do you do?
Keep your software and operating systems up to date.
This is probably the most important preventative measure. Older software and operating systems may be compromised with security flaws allowing an attacker or virus to infect your computer. Keep your computer patched, make sure that you deploy updates as they are released.
Use strong passwords.
Passwords should be very tough. They should not be based on dictionary words and will contain a mix of upper case, lower case characters, numbers and symbols. The length of the password should be a minimum of 16 characters. I use a password program called KeePassX But there are many reliable, secure programs available both stand alone and cloud based that will secure your passwords and other sensitive information.
Back up your data.
If your data becomes compromised and you have a backup, you may lose something but at least you’re not going to lose the lot.
I use a Western Digital My Passport portable hard drive and Apple Time machine on my laptop. It does an incremental backup every hour.
I have an Ubuntu Linux workstation as well. It’s also backed up using a program called rsync.
I have a couple of cloud accounts that I back up files as they are created. There is at least another copy of my work elsewhere in the event everything dies.
Both of my personal machines are secured with strong passwords, have well maintained operating systems and are backed up at least daily. I use cloud file storage as an insurance policy in the event something catastrophic occurs.
Sydney Web Creations offers our clients a very safe hosting environment to secure your valuable web assets. We offer our clients a four layer security strategy to assist in preventing attacks and malware injection.
Our servers are patched and secured. Access to our servers are tightly controlled.
The exploitation of software vulnerabilities through external attacks are a major cause of intrusions. We keep all of our clients website code up to date. We conduct regular scans and back up all sites off server.
Regular scans and other checks are conducted to determine if any malicious code or intruders have breached our defenses. Any suspicious activity is personally inspected to determine if further action is required.
Our defensive layer includes an external web application firewall, which reacts to external attacks and defends against DDos attacks. The firewall is self patching and can detect and patch against new malware attack variants before software programmers can catch up.
What is described above is just part of our defense state. If you want more information please contact us.
I hope that the advice given may assist you in hardening your systems so that you are protected , or able to recover without too much damage if your are compromised. Remember that regardless of how much security you put in place, you may still be vulnerable. No one can predict what will happen tomorrow. One last thing ….. Don’t pay the ransom!!!