Ransomware – Be Careful Out There

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to deny access to files until a ransom is paid.  It spreads through phishing emails or downloading files from an infected website.  Ransomware can be devastating to a company.  In the last year, Freight Management Systems (FMS) has seen an increase in ransomware attacks with our customers.  We had three different companies get hit by ransomware.  It took one company down for almost 3 weeks without a computer system.  These customers lost tens of thousands of dollars in revenue and time.

There are a lot of tips out there about how not to get Ransomware or what to do if you have it.  Here are 4 tips that should be the minimum you do to try to avoid Ransomeware and protect your company:

  1. Use the most current operating system for your PC or MAC. Make sure you update the software with automatic updates.  I understand if Windows 10 has bugs and you don’t like it as much as previous versions of Windows.  However, it’s still safer than older operating systems.  Upgrade and get used to the changes.  It’s the safest way.
  2. Backup EVERYTHING. Use a backup service so your files are being backed up offsite every night.  The prices of these services have come down and are worth it.  Make sure you have a monthly checklist to check to make sure your files are being backup up and the service didn’t accidentally get turned off.  If you ever got Ransomware, this is the lifesaver you will need.  Also, make sure non-file data is also being backed up like any databases that your software uses.
  3. NEVER open an e-mail unless you are 100% sure. Hackers are getting better at making e-mails look real.  Some are disguising the e-mail, so they look like they are coming from contacts as invoices.  They also try to make banking e-mails, so they look like statements.  Pay attention to the sending e-mail addresses and be certain of the legitimacy of the e-mail before opening it.
  4. Run an Antivirus program. There are many out there and they are made to find these programs before you run it to your system.  Make sure you get one that can scan e-mails as well.  This is the most common way Ransomware is spread.


I hope these tips help.  If you do get Ransomware, it’s better to not pay the Ransom.  There is no guarantee that the hackers will truly remove the software or restore your data.  Also, that money lets hackers continue to prey on victims.  It’s better to turn to your backup and start restoring.


Be Careful Out There and I hope you never have to deal with this threat.

Henry Sheldon is the President of Freight Management Systems, Inc. (FMS), a leading software development company specializing in transportation management systems and transportation logistics software. “The software we make are only tools to support our greatest assets, our customers!”

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