This site uses cookies to improve your browsing experience, gather site analytics and activity, track shopping cart contents, and deliver relevant marketing information.
View our privacy policy and manage your settings here. By using our site you agree to these terms.
For Immediate Release
October 11, 2016
ABA Media Contact: Sarah Grano
(202) 663-5470
Follow us on Twitter: @ABABankers

5 Ways to Protect Your Small Business from Ransomware Attacks


​WASHINGTON — Small businesses are becoming popular targets to a form of malware known as ransomware. Ransomware is used by cybercriminals to freeze your computer or mobile device, steal your data and demand a “ransom” anywhere between a couple of hundreds to thousands of dollars be paid. Ransomware infiltrates enterprise networks and servers and individual laptops or computers, leading to the loss of critical information and data.
“Ransomware poses a great threat to small businesses because it has the power to wipe out and compromise their entire network,” said Doug Johnson, ABA’s senior vice president of payments and cybersecurity policy. “Businesses can minimize their exposure to these malicious threats by educating their frontline staff, limiting the use of privileged accounts and making sure all virus protection software is up to date.”
In recognition of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, ABA is offering small businesses these tips to help them thwart 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 to locate the office nearest you.
Click here to view ABA’s ransomware infographic.
The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $16 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard $12 trillion in deposits and extend more than $8 trillion in loans.
# # #