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Ransomware and Data Breach Threats: Prevention and Remediation Tips for Consumers and Businesses

We know what you’re thinking! We’ve been talking about cyber security a lot lately, but we’re not the only ones. Most importantly, we’re doing it for good reason. Just last month, Governor John Bel Edwards declared the very first cyber security emergency in Louisiana’s history. You can read more about the incident HERE. Our goal is to help educate you on how you can protect your data and prevent similar incidents, whether you’re a regular consumer or a business owner.

As part of the education process regarding cyber security, Jonathan Peyton, a Solution Specialist for CMA Technology Solutions, appeared on his local news station to spread the word about the recent security threats and the steps you can take to protect your data. Watch the news clip HERE.

In the clip you just watched, Jonathan was only able to scratch the surface of what to do to prevent cyber attacks. Today, we’ll discuss ransomware and data breaches as we dig a little deeper on the topic!

RANSOMWARE

If you’re attacked with ransomware, you won’t be able to access your data without paying ransom to get it back. For consumers and businesses, this can mean data like files, your personal information, or your customers’ banking information. Scary, right? For consumers, the best lines of defense against ransomware are using a current, quality anti-virus software, updating your systems regularly, and backing up important data. Remember that important data can mean anything, even your photos!

For businesses, protecting your data from ransomware is a bit trickier. Take a look at this well-rounded list of how you can protect your business from ransomware:

  • Train and test your users! It is no different than safety training. Turn your users into assets – not liabilities!
  • Update all your systems continuously
  • Use layered security
  • Look into cyber insurance policies
  • Consider managed security services for active monitoring
  • Implement complex passwords that change every 60-90 days
  • Implement multi-factor authentication
  • Disable and secure USB ports on devices
  • Implement mobile device management
  • Backup your data – have an “air-gapped” copy that is in a location not easily accessed
  • Notify authorities in the event of an attack

DATA BREACHES

When you see the words ‘data breach’, you automatically think about banking breaches. You’ve most likely seen the recent data breach scares in the news and wondered if your information was compromised. Data breaches don’t just happen to banks. They can happen to any business that bills customers and has banking information on file. We know that’s not what you want to hear, but as a consumer, you can investigate credit monitoring services and consider a lock or freeze on your credit depending on your individual needs.

As a business, the last thing you want to do is have a data breach, but avoiding the problem can cause further confidence and trust issues with your valued customers. In the case of a data breach, you need to have a notification policy and plan drafted. Will you email your customers to notify them or place individual phone calls to them? Either way, having a plan is what’s best for your business.

Do you have questions or think that you might need help protecting your business from ransomware, data breaches, or other cyber security threats? CMA has a talented security team that can address your concerns and help you move forward. Contact us today!

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