RANSOMWARE MALWARE INCIDENTS ON THE RISE
There was a time a few short years ago when internet access on the retail store’s network was not as prevalent as it is now, and a store’s risk was for virus or malware infection may have been lower. But as business needs and the retail industry evolves, the need for accessing email and websites by the retail store personnel to respond to customer enquiries, process web orders, and research product specifications for clients, has grown by leaps and bounds.
We estimate that less than 5% of our Smart Vendor Retailers do not have any access to the internet on the ACCEO Smart Vendor network these days. The risk factor for retail business has increased, while the small to medium sized retail store’s technical awareness and expertise to guard against being infected has not.
Our Helpdesk Team is seeing an increased number of reports of various strains of Ransomware malware which has taken large and small Retailers by surprise, locking them out of the most crucial business tool in their store – their Smart Vendor POS software. After removing the strain of Ransomware virus from the computer(s), only an unaffected backup would help the Retail store recover and resume operations from the point of the last viable backup. Having unaffected backups for the last 60 days may be the only way to recover. In some instances, our Retailers lost between 1 and several days’ worth of sales and inventory information because they did not have backups on hand that predated the malware infection.
Here are 3 ways to protect your data:
- Subscribe to an online backup service: ACCEO Smart Vendor Retailers can protect their store’s critical data with an annual subscription to our secured online backup service which archives 60 days of backups. The backups are verified daily at the hosting centre to be error free and fully restorable. Contact us for more information.
- Update your security software: Updating your security software regularly is another critical step to protect your business network and data.
- Educate your employees: Store Management should consider that educating store employees on safe internet practices, and what a malicious email or email attachment may look like, should now be a standard part of the store’s training program. In this new IoT (Internet of things) world, we all need to pay more attention to internet security and safeguarding our valuable data.
As the saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Be sure to protect your business systems with every resource available to you. See below for important information on safe internet practices, and links to various industry leader sites for a deeper understanding of what the Ransomware Virus. Microsoft website:
- Malware Protection Center Ransomware
- Protect my PC from viruses
- What is Windows Defender? (for Windows 8, 8.1, 10 FREE)
- Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7 (FREE)
According to Symantec, creators of Norton Antivirus:
“One of the main routes of infection has been through spam email campaigns, many of which are disguised as invoices. Word documents containing a malicious macro are attached to these emails. Symantec detects these malicious attachments as W97M.Downloader. If this macro is allowed to run, it will install Locky onto the victim’s computer. … attackers appear well-resourced and have managed to distribute the malware widely in a very short span of time. This may increase the chance of infection among consumers and businesses who do not regularly update their security software.”