A form of malware known as ransomware is a large focus for cyber security. Hackers have evolved these forms of malware from being a simple nuisance to traps of large money holes that these hackers are swimming in, at the cost of innocent bystanders. Hackers will create and program malware systems and offer them to anybody and pay them a portion of the profit they are making. As much as we try to fight it, this relationship of extortion will continue to spread like a disease.

That is why we are here - with Cycrest's professional assistance, we utilize programs to protect you which lower your chances of an attack as well as provide education for your team on proper email and internet safety to avoid attempts to attack.

How does ransomware infect your system? It is also known as a trojan horse, and as the story goes, the program is presented as something it is not, and once an unsuspecting employee opens the program, it has access to the internal systems which will encrypt certain files on your computer. In general, these programs are sent asExcel Spreadsheets, Word documents, PDF files and other familiar files. Once the files are encrypted, there is no way to access the information without paying the requested ransom, restoring from a backup if you have one, or attempting a manual decryption, which is unlikely to get past their defences. Latest versions of ransomware we have seen will encrypt your entire hard drive, making your entire system entirely unusable.

One primary technique that these systems use is they do not present anything informing the user that it has been activated until it’s too late and they have completed encrypting your system. Then there are Zero Day viruses; a form of malware that can infect your system with zero warning that your current computer protection cannot locate. This is aliken to getting the flu shot but coming in contact with a flu strain that was not protected by that vaccination.

It is true that nothing can safeguard you 100%, but below are the items we rely on to protect our clients from these treats.

Our Cycrest systems have several layers of security built in to prevent dangerous ransomware, malware, and viruses from reaching your system.

  1. First of all, every single Cycrest system installation is built, programmed and installed with high end defaults and standards which are the best practices, and notably, HIPAA compliant. These keep your system tightly secured, soundly stable and extremely fast to deter threats and ensure productivity.
  2. The firewall systems we install are all commercial grade and high end, which control, regulate, and restrict in and outbound traffic through the internet. Our firewall systems detect potential threats by scanning all of the data packets, blocking hacker traffic and trojan horses attempting to gain access to your system from outside sources. Importantly, they observe packet patterns which can detect any malicious activity that poses a threat to your network.
  3. We install commercial grade higher end central corporate anti-virus systems which update themselves daily to guarantee protection with the latest anti-virus and anti-malware information.These ecentral systems scan incoming and outgoing emails, assess incoming and outgoing traffic on each computer in real time mode to decrease any potential threats.
  4. We install an additional commercial anti-malware system which work in conjunction with the Anti-Virus and Firewall system and gives an extra layer of protection.
  5. Through our Cycrest CMS system, we review and assess your network relentlessly and apply security patches and critical updates to your system hourly, daily, weekly and monthly to ensure your system is secure.

One of the greatest vulnerability to these infections of ransomware and viruses are caused by harmless human error. Generally, a user clicks on a seemingly legitimate e-mail, then opens a bogus attachment, or navigates to a website which activates the virus/malware/ransomware.

With this in mind, it is vital to have well-informed users who are knowledgeable in regards to navigating the internet and identifying threatening emails and attachments they access.This is In addition to the above security measures Cycrest offers.

  1. The number one way ransomware accesses computer systems is through email attachments and links in emails. As a rule of thumb, never click on a link or attachment sent to you via email unless you were expecting the correspondence and you know the sender. Common fraud emails appear to come from trusted sources such as FedEx, UPS, a bank, or password notification type e-mail, attachment or link. If you receive one of these and are unsure, you can always look up the number and call the company who sent it and ask. Avoid calling the number located inside the email in case it directs you to a hacker.
  2. Create a guest access side of the internet for customer and personal use. It is vital to not allow personal devices to access the network attached to your systems.
  3. Be on the lookout for fake websites which are common traps. Hackers who create ransomware often setup a legitimate looking website, hijack an existing website, or hijack an ad or video on an existing website. These are then accessed by innocent users who download the malware accidentally. To combat this, only visit websites that have a solid reputation and are for business purposes only. If you want to check out the website you are unsure of, access it from a mobile device such on the guest network. We are always happy to provide training to your staff on how to surf the internet safely.

As an extra security precaution, Cycrest sets up security permissions so that users only have access to the files and folders that they need. This way, in the event user gets a ransomware infection, the virus program can only encrypts files that the user has access to. By setting up security and limiting what users have access to it can limit the exposure if any users do access malware.

In today’s high-tech environment, and with hackers finding the latest ways to access your system, there is no 100% way to prevent ransomware or other viruses. In the event of an infection, Cycrest provides the following services to get you back up and running as quickly as possible.

  1. Your files and documents are secured on the server as opposed to the local workstation. This allows us to control the files and perform a backup each day so you don’t lose your valuable work. Viruses initially look through the local hard drive and then attack files on the network that the infected user has access to.
  2. Cycrest creates a hidden backup of your entire server two times each day in addition to your evening backup. Although there is a possibility for these threats to compromise those hidden backups, this is how we can quickly restore the system in the event of a cyber attack.
  3. Cycrest implements and recommends robust backup solutions that enable us to restore information in an encrypted form to help keep you HIPAA compliant as well as protected. Our Backup solutions are separated from the rest of the network to help put additional safeguards in place to help keep you protected. In addition, Cycrest offers off-site backup to our safe storage facilities for those who prefer to not have to worry about taking backups off site daily.

As safeguards against threats such as malware, ransomware, and viruses evolve, so do the threats. Cycrest is unceasingly monitoring and scanning for all trends and will continue to recommend changes that give our Clients the leading edge on protection.


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