For Immediate Release
May 3, 2017
ABA Media Contact: Sarah Grano
(202) 663-5470
Email: sgrano@aba.com​
Follow us on Twitter: @ABABankers

5 Ways to Protect Your Small Business from Ransomware Attacks

National Small Business Week is April 30- May 6

​WASHINGTON — Ransomware has become one of the fastest growing malware threats to small businesses in recent years. According to the FBI, in 2015, more than $1.6 million was lost due to ransomware attacks.
 
The popular malware is used by cybercriminals to freeze business networks and servers and individual laptops and computers, steal critical information and data, and demand that a “ransom” anywhere between a couple of hundreds to thousands of dollars be paid.
 
“Small businesses are extremely vulnerable to these attacks,” said Doug Johnson, ABA’s senior vice president of payments and cybersecurity policy. “Businesses can minimize the impact of ransomware attacks by deploying a backup system for all critical information and establishing additional safeguards so that hackers have fewer entry points into their networks.”
 
In recognition of National Small Business Week, ABA is offering these tips to help guard against ransomware attacks:
  • Educate your employees. Employees can serve as a first line of defense to combat online threats and can actively help stop malware from infiltrating the organization’s system. A strong security program paired with employee education about the warning signs, safe practices, and responses aid tremendously in preventing these threats.

  • Manage the use of privileged accounts. Restrict users’ ability to install and run software applications on network devices, in an effort to limit your networks exposure to malware.

  • Employ a data backup and recovery plan for all critical information. Backups are essential for lessening the impact of potential malware threats. Store the data in a separate device or offline in order to access it in the event of a ransomware attack.

  • Make sure all business devices are up to date. Ensure antivirus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and conduct regular scans so that your operating systems operate efficiently.

  • Contact your local FBI field office immediately to report a ransomware event and request assistance. Visit https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field to locate the office nearest you.
Click here to view ABA’s ransomware infographic.
 
For more information on ransomware or to schedule an interview with ABA’s Doug Johnson, contact Sarah Grano at 202-663-5470.
 
The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $17 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard $13 trillion in deposits and extend more than $9 trillion in loans.
 
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