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MicroComputer Resources, Inc.
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Ransomware Coming at You Through End Users

Ransomware Coming at You Through End Users

14-Feb-2018     The ransomware will only get worse in 2018, according to a recent TechRepublic report, and end users remain the unlocked gate which beckons the hacker inside your computer network. Despite months, even years, of warnings, uses are still easily tricked into clicking something in what should be a suspicious email. One of the tactics hackers used most in 2017 is phishing, sending emails such as fake purchase orders in hopes that users would be tricked into clicking the malicious links the emails contained.
    Once the user clicks, no doubt to see what is this purchase order he or she doesn't remember making, it unleashes a piece of code that leverages the user's administrative rights, thus allowing it to install malware onto the system.
    Companies must be proactive to prevent this. The first step is to remove all unnecessary privileges, including administrative rights. For the user who sometimes needs those rights to fulfill certain functions, the solution could be to set up a separate admin user to be logged into as needed, but which is separate from the user's email account. That way the suspect email can never be opened by a user with admin privileges.
    A second step is to apply "application whitelisting," which is limiting program application to a specific list of legitimate apps, instead of blacklisting, which merely prohibits the dangerous apps that you know about. This too will have an irritating side effect, since new programs added to the system won't work until they make it onto the approved whitelist. But get used to taking that extra step. It's better than losing all your data and having to pay to get it back.
    Finally, keep your software up to date by installing all patches. Microsoft and other developers already have teams of security experts searching for vulnerabilities, and plugging the holes when they find them. Take advantage of their expertise.