A cyber threat that first came into the scene in the early 1990s – Ransomware attacks, continues to be a major cybersecurity threat to business organizations to this day. Not only do they cause an interruption in your IT operations, but lead to considerable financial losses. Small and mid-sized businesses, especially in industries where there is lesser cybersecurity awareness are more prone to falling victim to Ransomware attacks. Ensuring safety from Ransomware attacks is one of the primary goals of any cybersecurity solutions or services that you go on to avail.
What exactly are Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware attack refers to a kind of malware attack when the cybercriminal hacks into a system’s sensitive data and demands a ransom amount in return for giving back the control into the hands of its owner or to decrypt the data held for ransom. The attacker typically sends an email with a suspicious link which when clicked, redirects you to download a malicious script or code that leads to locking up your data. Many firms have fallen victim to Ransomware attacks and have had to shed a load of money to recover their data. Ransomware is one of the most crippling forms of cyber attacks and it requires very tight constant security measures to tackle these attacks because the attackers come up with new ways to crack into your system and network every day.
7 Steps to Protect Your Business Against Ransomware Attacks
Here we are going to discuss various steps that can prove to be helpful for your business in dealing with Ransomware attacks.
1. Cybersecurity Awareness Among Your Staff
Your employees should have full cybersecurity awareness because a lot of surveys show that security breaches most often take place due to staff negligence, so it is important you make sure each and every member working in your organization is cybersecurity aware and knows what precautions to take for optimum security and how to deal with malicious links among other things.
2. Have Data Recovery Means in Place
Make sure you have effective data backup/ recovery techniques and methods put in place so your data is fully backed up before there is even the slightest breach because it is better to be safe than sorry. Data backed up before it is locked up at least leaves you with some more options that your team of cybersecurity experts can work on. It is true that certain Ransomware attacks can still cause problems but in most cases, a data backup would let you come out safely with an alternative that does not involve a disruption in operations or having you negotiate with Ransomware attackers.
3. Access Management
Effective measures to check the activities of who’s having the credentials or access to your sensitive files go a long way in ensuring a good security posture. You should always be careful about this aspect since the passwords or such critical information in the wrong hands or with someone you are not sure would handle this with required caution can lead to disaster for your business. So utmost care is advised with account management and access to users’ credentials in order to keep intrusions and hacking attempts at bay.
4. Security Management Tools
Apart from Ransomware protection software, there are solutions such as SIEM (Security Information and Event Manager) that would provide you with efficient security monitoring and analysis to help you get the very crucial security insights and alerts, facilitating your cybersecurity team to take appropriate actions at the right time and dodge any attempted security intrusions or malicious activity that could pose a potential risk to your infrastructure. These security tools with their constant monitoring also save you from daunting downtime.
5. Email Filtering
Ransomware attacks very commonly occur through suspicious links enclosed in the emails coming into your mailbox. The problem is that most of the time these emails seem legitimate and the user can unknowingly click on the links enclosed within these, leading to downloading of harmful files on your system and trigger a Ransomware attack. It is therefore crucial there should be a strong email scanning solution that can filter out spam. This is besides your employees being careful and responsible towards handling such emails.
6. Only Install Reputable and Trusted Software
There are plenty of applications and software available these days. You must be very careful about choosing the right software applications and ensure they come from a trusted developer. There have been several instances of malware and viruses coming to your network right from a suspicious app or program. Hence never take any chances and use only the most reliable Applications with user ratings approval, or use the ones specifically customized for your needs by a developer you employ for the same. Especially refrain from downloading any suspicious freeware or trial software online.
7. Specialized Cybersecurity IT Team
You should always hire an experienced cybersecurity service provider that would help you avoid the threats in advance 90% of the time rather than deal with an attack once it has occurred and caused a certain degree of damage already to your network infrastructure. A quality cybersecurity expert would be able to constantly monitor, detect and neutralize a suspicious threat beforehand, ensuring the attack does not happen in the first place.
Following all the measures discussed above greatly enhances your cybersecurity. We have covered some of the most important steps to ensure you are protected and secure from all kinds of viruses, malware, and Ransomware attacks. In the scenario of Ransomware, it is always a case of “prevention is better than cure”, thus it is best to avoid any chances of such attacks from happening by educating your staff with cybersecurity awareness training programs, employing effective backup and recovery methods, installing cybersecurity tools and software, keeping those tools up-to-date, and lastly, have the best possible IT security provider for your network that can efficiently tackle the threat before it enters the network system.