Ransomware attacks can be detrimental to businesses. According to Cloudwards.net, 36% of businesses were hit by ransomware in 2021 alone. Ransomware attacks are on the rise and can affect the company’s bottom line, reputation, and overall customer trust. Follow these for preventative strategies to mitigate a ransomware attack and prepare your business for potential threats.
The first step in tackling a potential ransomware threat is understanding what it is.
What is a ransomware attack?
A ransomware attack typically uses malware to hold sensitive information like personal or financial data, accounts, and passwords hostage. The hacker releases the information back to the business once the victim pays the ‘ransom,’ which is where the term ransomware comes from. If the ransom is not paid, the hacker will likely release the stolen data or delete it in its entirety, which can lead to detrimental consequences for the business and subsequently the people whose data was stolen.
Malware can enter a system through emails, links, downloads, visiting a corrupted website, vulnerabilities in networks, or even through remote desktop protocols. Once the malware has gained access, it begins encrypting files, meaning a decryption key is needed to free the data and it is this decryption key that a fee or ransom is needed to pay for.
How can you prepare your business for a ransomware attack?
1) Determine risk levels
The first step in preparing to protect your sensitive data is through determining your levels of risk. Is your data held online or offline? Who has access to it? Are all those with access educated in the proper protocols needed for ransomware avoidance? Go through your company's data flows and determine every source where data may enter a system. Then it is prudent to begin implementing security measures, protocols, antivirus solutions, and password-protected firewalls at every source to mitigate the possibility of ransomware entering your database.
2) Identify and Educate Points of Entry
No matter the size of your team or the number of users accessing your data, it is prudent to educate every single user on the steps and protocols implemented to mitigate third-party attacks. It is recommended to begin with the basics, explaining how ransomware can enter an internal system and describing the steps your business has implemented. No matter how technical an organization is, any source, from any department can still be a point of entry for those wanting to commit a ransomware attack. A brief discussion over opening seemingly unsafe emails or downloading unknown software types and accessing unknown sites can be a simple and effective way to protect your organization. Guaranteeing everyone in the business is knowledgeable about safety and best practices is the best defense when it comes to ransomware.
3) Backup Data to an offline server
Backing up data to an offline server can help mitigate numerous issues and helps to ensure no data is lost. Although this will not help stop the release of sensitive data in the case of a ransomware attack, backing up your data to an offline server provides not only a ‘backup’ but provides the ability to apply a full-system reboot in the case that a malware attack, ransomware or not, occurs. It provides the option to stop all operations upon the recognition of malware without the worry of losing sensitive data offering a means to restart from your backup without needing to be concerned with corruption.
4) Guarantee Updated Antivirus Software and Firewalls
Keeping software up to date is essential for data safety. New viruses are detected daily, leaving data vulnerable to attacks. Purchasing antivirus software from reputable companies that specialize and continuously update their product is the most efficient method for mitigating risk. It is crucial to fully vet any antivirus software and firewalls before implementation, utilize only the most reputable companies, and guarantee data safety at every source and destination your data enters, is stored or exits.
5) Invest in a Professional Solution
Salvador technologies’ was founded to offer a solution that provides numerous preventative measures to protect businesses from potential ransomware attacks. The process begins by creating copies of all data and backing it up to an offline server guaranteeing an up-to-date and recoverable copy. Next, all antivirus software and firewalls are continuously kept up to date ensuring business operational continuity. lastly, make sure to teach staff about safe online use so that you are less susceptible to data breaches and hackers.
Guarantee your data is kept safe from harm by contacting Salvador Technologies before a problem arises. However, if you find yourself or your business victim to one of these ransomware attacks reach out to the new standard in operational continuity and cyber-attack recovery to get your operations back to normal in no time. Plan for the worst-case scenario and apply these above methods to limit your risk, but, if the worst does happen, check out Salvador Technologies and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.