The recent article in The Register highlighted the threat to schools from ransomware. Ransomware viruses, like CryptoLocker, first encrypts users’ files then demands a payment to release a software key to unlock the files. This model of extortion can prove lucrative for the perpetrators, and they are now attacking education establishments. It’s important to understand the threat and what you do about it.
There are several approaches that can mitigate against both infection and data loss.
Steps should be taken to block known viruses before they reach the end-users. This could include on-the-wire scanning of inbound emails, blocking access to sites known to be potential sources of malware, running security on users’ devices to counter threats arriving from elsewhere, keeping firewalls running and current, keeping operating systems patched and up to date, and implementing a comprehensive company IT security policy and appropriate end-user education against IT threats.
Those responsible for school IT security should consider the benefits of multi-tier storage, copy on write file systems and virtualization to protect against a ransomware virus that’s found its way on to the network. Without going into too much detail these technologies will protect your files when a ransomware attack takes place.
Cloud back up, if properly implemented and maintained, will provide a safe haven for data to enable file recovery in the event of an attack. Cloud back up should be secured from the virus. Specifically, the cloud backup location must not be accessible by the user’s workstation, ensuring the virus is unable to encrypt the files in the cloud. And it should be available for an extended period to enhance availability of historic data,
Zynstra Cloud Managed Severs are deployed in schools and education establishments across the UK, and provide complete, powerful, cost effective, easy to manage, worry free IT for education. Just one of their benefits is how they can help fight against ransomware. If you want to know how Zynstra Cloud Managed Servers can help in your battle against ransomware in Education, come and visit us at BETT, or alternatively register for our free webinar – Overcoming IT Challenges in Education.
Image by Christiaan Colen