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Protecting against evolving ransomware

Justin Peters, Technology Solutions Director, APAC, Sophos. | Aug. 3, 2016
Justin Peters discusses the latest ransomware strain RAA,techniques adopted by cybercriminals, and gives tips on best practices against ransomware for organisations.

Defending against RAA 

Users are encouraged to configure their Windows settings to display file extensions at all times in order to be vigilant against RAA. This measure provides users with a higher chance of identifying suspicious files due to the file type.

If the need to open a JavaScript file arises, users can set Notepad as the default program so the file will be opened as text instead of as a program that runs in the background.

Best practices against ransomware

With ransomware attacks on the rise, the following best practices are recommended to protect organisations:

1.Backup files regularly and keep a recent backup copy off-site. Encrypt the backup for an additional layer of protection.

2.Do not enable macros to open attachments that are sent via email, as this is how infections are spread.

3.Be cautious about unsolicited attachments and refrain from opening it.

4.Do not stay logged in as an administrator longer than required, and avoid browsing and opening documents while logged in.

5.Consider installing the Microsoft Office Viewer, as the application provides a preview of the document without opening them.

6.Patch early and patch often. Any ransomware that is not spread via document macros, often rely on security bugs in popular applications such as Office and Flash.

7.Train and retrain employees to avoid booby-trapped documents and malicious emails.

8.Separate functional areas within the company network with a firewall so that systems and services can be accessed only if necessary.


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