How to prepare for ransomware

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about ransomware: a type of computer virus that encrypts your files and holds them for ransom. Worse yet, there is no guarantee that your data will be released if you pay the ransom fee. In light of the most recent ransomware attack called “WannaCry” that infected a substantial number of businesses in Europe, it is important that you are taking measures to ensure that your business is safe.

Antivirus and firewall concept with businessman protected with umbrella

If you are not familiar with the statistics, ransomware was a billion dollar industry in 2016, and every cyber criminal knows it. There is exceptional financial motivation for these scams to be produced indefinitely, and they become increasingly sophisticated every day. As a business owner, ransomware is a constant threat that cannot be ignored.

Playing defense in the ransomware game is a layered approach, with several security methods to prevent ransomware from getting to your network. The first line of defense includes anti-virus, a good firewall, and effective spam filtering. The next important step in any security plan is user training. Ransomware is generally not a problem until someone within your network clicks on the wrong email or web link. The final layer of defense are things like an insurance policy or data backups.

Preferably, investing in each one of these layers is best practice. However, if you have to choose one component over another, backups are the most important investment that you can make. With a good backup system, you may lose some time and a nominal amount of data after an attack, but you will be able to restore your data without the ransomware affecting your business.

In addition to having the data backups in place, it is also essential to ensure that your backups are up-to-date and running properly. Backups have a tendency to face errors that can disrupt a backup schedule. With proper backup monitoring, you may find that your backups were not operating as expected, thus leaving your data vulnerable.

Talk to your IT professional to ensure that you have both preventative security measures and contingencies in place to protect your data in the event of a ransomware attack.

Technology Training

Microsoft Excel 2016 Nested ‘IF’ Formula

In our last video, we covered how to use “IF” formula in Microsoft Excel 2016. The IF formula allows you to ask a cell in a spreadsheet if a statement is true or false. This basic formula will allow you to build complex calculators in Excel which will help you be more efficient in your work.

In this video, we will dive deeper into Excel IF formula’s to show you how to ask if more than one statement is true or false. A good example of this would be calculating A, B, C or D grades for a class of students. In this example, you would need to print a letter grade for a score that each student received on a test. Here, a letter would represent a score between two numbers and the IF formula would need to check which statement was true and which was false.

This is a slightly more complex use of the IF formula, however, with a little practice, you will find that this formula can save you from a lot of data entry and additional work.