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How not to get hacked in 2019

A guide to all the latest cyber criminal tricks, and how to beat them

The return of ransomware

Ransomware had a profitable year in 2017, but it reduced over time. This is partly due to many corporations investing in backup solutions that mitigate the impact of a ransomware event, or a quality Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solution, which effectively eliminates the risk. As a result, fewer companies are susceptible to ransomware and less are paying up. However, there were still plenty of high-profile ransomware events in 2018, which is why it remains towards the top of most security experts lists.

For Brian Hussey, VP of cyber threat detection and response at Trustwave SpiderLabs, there's still lots of lots of money in ransomware. "Though overall, I predict continued impact reduction of ransomware threats in the coming years, there are enough companies running lax security practices that still makes ransomware profitable," he says.

The fix: Take regular backups

There's an easy way to guard against ransomware infections, and that's to make sure that you take regular backups. If your system is backed up to an external location on a regular basis, then you can simply wipe the infected PC entirely and restore from a recent backup with minimum fuss and minimum data loss.

Most NAS drives will include backup functionality as a built-in feature, allowing you to schedule regular backups on a daily or weekly basis. You can also use various cloud-based backup services if you don't want the expense of purchasing a physical appliance. Alternatively, you can manually transfer your important files to an external drive on a regular basis - although this is a less fool-proof method.

Be warned, however - if the drive that you use as a backup target is connected to your machine when ransomware strikes, then the files on that drive will also be encrypted. It's a good idea to transfer your backup files to a separate, disconnected drive to prevent this.

Worried about data breaches? Click here to find out how to protect yourself...

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