To protect computer users from the growing threat of ransomware, Microsoft has upgraded the OneDrive cloud storage service of its Office 365 software suite with new cybersecurity measures. According to International Business Times, Microsoft is expanding File Restore to personal users of its OneDrive cloud storage service. Previously, this feature was limited to OneDrive Business users.
Like Windows’ built-in Restore function, File Restore for OneDrive allows users to easily recover lost or compromised files. If a user is hit with ransomware and unable to open or otherwise access the files on their computer, he or she can use this feature to restore them. OneDrive will send the files to the user’s computer, mitigating damage caused by ransomware.
Microsoft is also updating its OneDrive File Restore feature to include additional protection from ransomware. The company says it will notify users via email or desktop notification if it detects suspicious activity, such as mass file deletion, on their account.
Furthermore, Microsoft is including password protection for shared files on OneDrive. If a user wants to share a file with a work colleague, he or she can password protect it so that other users can’t access it.
Ransomware has become an increasingly common concern among business owners and consumers alike. Statistics show that roughly half of all malicious software identified in 2017 consisted of ransomware. Unlike other cyber threats, the defining characteristic of ransomware is a demand for payment. Once deployed, it locks or restricts the victim from accessing his or her files while demanding payment in the process. But even if a victim pays the ransom, there’s no guarantee that the hacker behind the attack will lift the restriction.
Because of this, the most effective way to protect against ransomware is to create regular backups. Even if ransomware encrypts the victim’s hard drive, he or she can still access their files by downloading them from a remote server.
Of course, there are other steps users can take to protect themselves from ransomware. Maintaining up-to-date software, for instance, can eliminate vulnerabilities that make computers susceptible to ransomware and other forms of malicious software. With Microsoft rolling out new safeguards for its OneDrive service, however, this will likely become the preferred cloud storage and file collaboration service among computer users.