Ransomware, Phishing Attacks on the Rise

Crypto Virus Infections (ransomware) have had a noticeable increase over the past month. So much, that we feel the need to address this issue again.

 Everyone using email must be very cautious and, yes, distrustful when opening email.

“Why are we getting viruses from emails when we have an email filter and anti-virus software?”

This is usually the first question we hear when a company gets a virus.  Be assured that all the hardware and software in place to catch viruses work but none are 100% failsafe.  In fact, all that security is working so well that cyber criminals have to find new ways to get into a network.  They found humans and their emails to be the easiest avenue! This is why an educated computer user is important.

Twenty-four hours a day, criminals around the world are developing new tactics to gain access to computers and networks. The good guys spend 24 hours a day finding the new tactics and developing defense mechanisms to stop them.  As a result, some attacks will get through defenses before they are discovered and stopped.

What more can be done to stop infection?

Education:  The final defense against email attacks is YOU. Most of the new attacks require the end user to start the process by opening an email, clicking on a link or an attachment, going to infected websites and clicking on items, etc.  As a result, ALL users need to be trained on how to recognize suspicious emails and websites.  No one is exempt from opening the door to viruses.

Email Filters:  Check your settings.  Most filters have an option to quarantine all emails with attachments.  The user then releases only the ones that s/he is expecting.   (Proofpoint customers have an Attachment Quarantine option which can be easily implemented.)  The quarantine method gives users extra time to pause and think before opening emails.

OpenDNS Software:  Another layer of defense is available which takes a different approach to stopping viruses.

There are viruses that infect computers by opening attachments but the virus is not actually contained in the attachment (this is the reason they are not stopped by a filter).  When the attachment is opened, a message is transmitted to a server over the internet where the virus is waiting, at which point the virus is sent back to that computer.  This all happens in a fraction of a second.

OpenDNS is designed to stop that message from being sent to its’ home server.  Therefore, the virus cannot be transmitted back to the computer.


Contact LYNX to discuss OpenDNS along with many other options available to enhance your Cyber Security.

Education is critical.  LYNX offers on-site group or individual training sessions for Cyber Security with real, live infected emails and websites.

Contact Betsy Johnston for training information and scheduling.


It is always a balancing act between keeping your business protected and allowing employees to work productively.  LYNX can assist and guide you through managing this balancing act.