Greetings from Hostcats


In an effort further enhance your server cyber defences, we want to highlight a common cyber-attack that everyone should be aware of – ransomware. Ransomware is increasingly being used by hackers to extort money from companies. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that takes over your server and prevents you from accessing files until you pay a ransom. Although we maintain controls to help protect our networks and servers from this type of attack, with the quickly changing attack scenarios we rely on you to be our first line of defence.


Here are helpful tips on how you can defend yourself from a likely attack and help avoid a ransomware/malware attack:


  1. Back up your data

Maintaining recent backups of your data is essential. Companies that follow this fundamental best practice could safely ignore attacks such as the WannaCry ransom demand and revert to stored files with little data loss – unless their backup strategy relied too heavily on a local storage device. A multi-layered strategy that takes advantage of cloud backups and has a robust approach to redundancy is recommended.


 2. Keep up with patches

WannaCry hit servers running older versions of Microsoft software that had not been updated, even though patches that fixed vulnerabilities were available. Patch management has been and will continue to be a challenge for many organizations and end-users. Simply keeping up with the latest patches for Windows operating system, as well as your third-party applications, will go a long way to reducing your exposure to ransomware.


 3. Check your security software

Be sure that you have security software installed and that it’s up-to-date. New malware surfaces every day, so keeping current with your anti-virus software helps keep your data safe.


 4. Educate your Admin IT staff to spot scams

WannaCry’s sneaky worm component helped it to spread by exploiting a weakness in a Windows file-sharing protocol, but it was the usual phishing emails and suspicious attachments that opened the door. Employee awareness is crucial in avoiding a ransomware attack. Staff ought to be coached on how to spot scams, and urged to take the time to pause and check emails that don’t look right.


 5. Take the “security first” approach

Weave security awareness and practice into your process from beginning to end. DevSecOps is a concept that emphasizes the importance of integrating security into all parts of IT system development and operations, rather than leaving them disconnected. While perfect security is not possible, concepts like this bring it closer.


 6. If Something Seems Wrong, Notify Hostcats Support Team

If your server is infected with ransomware, you will typically be locked out of all programs and a “ransom screen” will appear. In the unfortunate event that you click a link or attachment that you suspect is malware or ransomware, please notify “Hostcats Support Team” immediately. There are two effective ways to do this – by phone 080-67006060, or email

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

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