Five Ways To Protect Your SME Against Ransomware

Sam's picture
| 19th May 2017

Cybersecurity hit the headlines again last week, in the wake of the WannaCry ransomware attack that has affected around 150 countries and 200,000 organisations, including the NHS. Like many other attacks before it, the incident highlights the importance of keeping your personal and business computers protected from external threats. But what practical steps can businesses take to protect themselves from ransomware attacks?

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software which blocks access to the files on your computer until you pay a ransom, and it may also threaten to delete your files unless you pay within a certain amount of time. Files are difficult to decrypt, but if you are affected it is advised that you do not pay because you still might not get your files back.

How Does Ransomware Spread?

Ransomware can come from legitimate websites which have been hacked, or from malicious email attachments. Older systems or those that are not regularly updated are particularly vulnerable to attack - the WannaCry ransomware used a flaw in Microsoft’s software to infiltrate Windows computers. Once a computer is compromised, the ransomware can spread to other computers within the same network.

How To Protect your Business

For businesses, cybersecurity issues are twofold – you need to ensure your computers are protected while your staff members are working online, and you also need to make sure that your own website cannot be hacked and used as a vehicle to spread malicious software.

Here are five things you can do right now to help protect your business from ransomware, viruses, and other cybersecurity threats:

 1.       Back up your files

Backing up your files won’t prevent anything from happening to them, but it means that if anything should happen, your files won’t be lost forever and you won’t be tempted to pay the ransom. With your files all backed up on a completely separate system or server, you can format your hard drive if you need to, restore your files, and carry on where you left off without giving in to threats. But your backup system is useless if it isn't working, so make sure you test it regularly as part of your disaster recovery plan.

 2.       Use secure passwords

Using a password that is easy to guess is akin to leaving your front door wide open. If you use a password that is simply your name, 1234, qwerty or even the word “password”, you might as well not bother having a password at all. Harry’s blog post Web Security Basics explains how to choose a secure password, as well as how to protect your personal details and back up your files.

 3.       Use an anti-virus program

Anti-virus programs can detect ransomware, malware, viruses, and other threats that could get onto your computer, and they can prevent them from being downloaded to begin with. It’s important to make sure that every computer in your business has an up-to-date antivirus installed.

 4.       Install important updates

Software providers often release updates and patches to fix vulnerabilities. This includes Microsoft, and if you’re running a Windows operating system your computer should automatically download and install important updates to keep you safe. You can check whether this is the case in your system settings.

 5.       Educate your staff members

Make sure that everyone in your company – including yourself – is aware of how to avoid downloading malicious software or compromising their personal data. This includes not downloading anything that has come from a website or email address that you do not trust, and not clicking on links in suspicious emails. There are a few ways you can figure out whether an email is from a legitimate company or whether it is a phishing email. This article is about emails from PayPal, but its advice can be applied to potential phishing emails from any company.

Improve Your Knowledge

SilverDisc MD Alan Perkins was a guest on BBC Radio Northampton on Wednesday, talking to Stuart Linnell about how important it is for businesses to increase their knowledge around cybercrime and ensure they remain protected from threats such as ransomware, hacking, and viruses. The show is available on iPlayer and the segment starts at 2 hours 7 minutes.

One way to keep your knowledge up to date is to attend events and conferences, to learn from and connect with industry experts. The “Ever Been Hacked… Off?” cyber security events hosted by NNBRF in 2016 and MKBRF in 2015 were interesting and informative events supported by SilverDisc, with expert speakers from all over the country advising businesses on how to keep themselves and their customers safe online.

There are also many resources available online where you can find out how to protect yourself and your business from online threats. Start by taking a look at our blog post How To Protect Your Website From Hackers to find out how you can tell if your website has been hacked, what to do if it should happen, and how you can avoid it completely.

At SilverDisc we put security at the centre of our online operations and we are dedicated to building robust websites that our customers can rely on. Contact us to find out more.

Share This

Tagged in

You might also like

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Data Privacy Hearing
If you’re on Facebook, then I expect you have shown an interest in Mark Zuckerberg’s recent hearing with approximately 40 U.S. senators regarding the breach of data privacy between Facebook, Dr Kogan’s app and Cambridge Analytica.
Jess Lee
On: 19th April 2018
Posted In:
Facebook | Social Media | Security
Silverdisc Neuromarketing
This week we’re dipping our toes into the interesting world of neuromarketing! This is an introductory article but there is lots of information available about it on the internet if you enjoy a...
Sam Rose
On: 2nd February 2018
Posted In:
Web Design & Development | CRO
Online Security
Did you know that from October, Google Chrome will begin showing a security warning to users when they enter information into websites that don’t have an SSL certificate? It is important that online...
Sam Rose
On: 18th September 2017
Posted In:
Web Design & Development | Security

Why Choose SilverDisc

Track Record Of Success

As a digital marketing agency with a 25-year history, continuously getting it right for our clients is of paramount importance and we have some great references to back this up.


Being Google Premier Partners and Bing Select Partners gives you the assurance that we’re fully trained, that we have demonstrated exceptional account management across a range of client spends and industries, and that our track record will continue.

Thought Leaders

We see where digital marketing is heading and position our clients to meet it. For example, we are so far ahead of the SEO game that we helped Google to write their webmaster guidelines, so you can enjoy SEO success without fear of being penalised.

Ethical & Honest

We have your best interests at heart and we give it to you straight, even if that’s painful to you or us. For example, we won’t spend your money marketing a website when it’s plain to us that the money would be wasted. We look for a win-win-win …


We listen to your individual needs, identify targets and work relentlessly towards meeting them, concentrating on what’s effective.


We exist to unlock the value of technology for business, and we love what we do. We have 25 straight years in digital marketing.

Friendly, Open and Giving

These words are at the core of our values. We build strong partnerships and go out of our way to help solve problems for clients, suppliers and the wider world.

Let's Get Started

Please fill in the form below or give us a call on 01536 316100

Follow SilverDisc