For more than three decades, ransomware has continued to thrive, with several organizations hit by ransomware deciding to pay the demanded amount. While it’s not that easy to keep off the digital invaders, it’s not impossible. We’ve highlighted some four ways you can use to keep your business or company safe from potential ransomware. But before we look at that, let’s see why ransomware can be so dangerous, and why it’s rising every now then.
The Nature of Ransomware
Unlike the other types of cyber-attacks, ransomware is a deadly malware that can cause significant damages. According to a 2018 Radware report, 69% of organizations were hit by a ransomware attack. Half of these companies ended up paying the ransom to get the essential business files back despite the experts warning them not to pay.
Ransomware attacks deny companies access to their data, such as business files or systems such as office computers. The entire system, network, and other sensitive information are often encrypted, rendering them unreadable unless the ransom is paid. Attackers usually give a deadline, after which they double or triple the ransom.
While companies are continuously advancing their cyber-security measures, invaders, on the other side, are also pushing the envelope. Recently, a large European hospital suffered a considerable loss due to ransomware. At the same time, MailTo ransomware hit another Australian logistic company for the second time in three months.
These are just a few organizations incurring losses in the name of cybersecurity loopholes. Luckily, there’s a way out of this menace. Below are four ways you can keep your business or company safe from ransomware attacks.
Update Your IT Infrastructure
The state of your IT Infrastructure is always one of the critical areas hackers will analyze for loopholes. If your network isn’t fully optimized, it means some gray areas can be exploited with ease. Some simple corrections and improvements, such as consolidating your servers, reorganizing data center storage, or switching to cloud-based services, will go a long way in preparing your company to survive the next ransomware attack.
Before you can make any changes or upgrades to your IT infrastructure, you want to schedule an IT infrastructure assessment, so you know which areas to optimize and which ones to completely replace for a hacker-proof network.
Regular Cyber-security audits
Cyber-security audits refer to a procedural evaluation of the networks’ security status to ensure all the company data is safe from external attacks. One way of doing this is by performing regular penetration tests to check the possible loopholes and adjust the security protocols to match the latest standards.
Most companies that don’t test their systems are vulnerable to the latest attacks since they rely on outdated network protection techniques. As technology evolves by the day, cyber-attacks become more complicated, which calls for new safety measures. Securing your network’s endpoints, such as wireless connection to your company’s network, isn’t enough to keep off a motivated attacker.
Educate Your Employees
You may be aware of ransomware, but your average employees are probably in the dark. To successfully control ransomware and other attacks, you should educate your employees and other people using the network. Suppose you’re to pass the message effectively, you should conduct a quarterly workshop on cybersecurity where you bring in experts to tackle the issue and even identify the most-at-risk employees and departments in your company.
Attackers don’t necessarily need to crack the code. All they need is somewhere they can hang their tools. Your company laptops, printers, and other digital assets can be a cause for concern. Emails from your employees, contractors, and even customers can be the loopholes for digital invaders.
The skills that hackers used last year are not the same as those they will use next year. The cyber-security landscape is continuously changing, and you should always keep that in mind. Staying updated isn’t about checking which company was hacked last week or which ransomware is the deadliest. While the news will help you stay vigilant, it’s a passive way of getting prepared to face such a disaster. Instead, you want to take preventive actions.
Always keep your company software up to date. Check for the latest version of all the computer programs you use, and make sure qualified personnel is the one handling the installation and upgrades to avoid costly mistakes; such as downloading software from compromised sites.
Ransomware is every company’s worst nightmare. Every business that’s gone digital is always keen on hacking news and the latest ransomware in town. The harsh reality is, you only come to appreciate the importance of cyber-security when it’s already too late.
Practicing good cyber hygiene is the only sure way to keep off the hackers and their deadly malware. Sticking with the above measures will not only keep your company safe but will also prepare you for any cyber-attack, not just ransomware.