5 Best Practices To Protect Your Business From Ransomware

Ransomware is becoming one of the most prominent threats to organizational security – making the cyber landscape more complex and hostile.  A ransomware attack on your business can result in complications such as business disruptions, data breaches, blackmailing, reputation damage, and so on.  Since ransomware attacks impact almost all businesses of all sectors and sizes, knowing and implementing the best practices to prevent your business from ransomware is critical.

What Is Ransomware and How Does It Work?

Ransomware is a type of malware that works by infiltrating the computers and networks of an organization and encrypting all of the data present in the devices and networks.  The Encryption used makes it extremely hard for victims to recover or use their data.  Cybercriminals then demand a ransom in exchange for a unique key to decrypt and unlock the compromised files.  The most common tactics hackers use to carry out attacks are email phishing campaigns, RDP vulnerabilities, and exploiting software vulnerabilities.  The consequences of ransomware attacks can include:

  • Data loss/corruption/theft
  • Reputation loss
  • Hardware damage
  • Blackmailing
  • Revenue loss
  • Indefinite business interruptions
  • Cybercriminals misusing the compromised data
  • Legal complications and the list goes on.

Protecting Your Business From Ransomware

Experts predict that a ransomware attack will occur every 11 seconds this year, causing a business downtime of 21 days on average.  According to the FBI, there are on average more than 4000 attempts of ransomware assaults every single day.  Experts have also reported an estimated 20 Billion global loss due to ransomware attacks.  Luckily, just like many other cybersecurity threats, ransomware is also preventable.  Here are the top 5 security tips to help you prevent your business from ransomware attacks.

1- Use Encryption

Your business is exposed to a host of security threats if your organizational data and network connections are not encrypted.  Encryption provides a solid defense against security intrusions and unauthorized access to sensitive data.  Encrypting your organizational data will not allow unauthorized entities to access or misuse your data – providing your critical data/information highest defense against a breach.

2- Create Regular Data Backups

Developing and implementing data backup and disaster recovery plans (DRP) can help you safeguard all of your organizational data from both internal and external security threats.  Data backups and disaster recovery plans help in recovering valuable data in cases such as accidental data loss, data corruption due to malware, data loss as a result of technical or equipment failures, data loss due to disasters like fire, flood, earthquake, and data breaches as a result of cyberattacks.  Encrypting data and then backing up the encrypted data offers even better protection against cyber attacks.  A step frequently missed by organizations is to have your backups periodically tested to ensure that data stored within the backups can be recovered.

3- Strengthen Your Endpoint Security Defenses

Security vulnerabilities in your corporate endpoints (computers, mobile devices, servers) can provide cybercriminals an entry point into your organization.  Ensure to use next-generation endpoint security solutions to protect your endpoints from being exploited.  Likewise, regularly conducting vulnerability and risk assessments can allow you to identify security vulnerabilities present in your organizational infrastructure.  Patching the identified security weaknesses will enable you to strengthen your security defense parameters can lower security risks like ransomware.

4- Develop a Cybersecurity Workplace Culture

Employees play a vital role in exposing or defending a business from security threats.  Reportedly, as high as 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error.  Employees who lack the required cybersecurity education and training are more prone to security threats and scams of cybercriminals than employees who think from a security perspective and follow appropriate security policies and protocols.  As a business, you should provide your employees with essential cybersecurity education and training.  It will help your employees make security-conscious decisions and identify potential threats while dealing with personal or organizational data/information.

5- Use Next-generation Cybersecurity Solutions

Traditional security solutions are becoming increasingly inefficient and incapable of coping with modern cybersecurity threats.  Therefore, it is important to invest in next-generation cybersecurity solutions that include next-gen antivirus, firewalls, ransomware and malware detection tools, and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) equipped with artificial intelligence and machine learning.  Such next-gen security solutions leverage cloud and Ai technologies to offer real-time threat and anomaly detection capabilities – providing reliable protection against traditional and modern security risks.

Ransomware malware is undoubtedly one of the most prominent security threats to businesses today.  However, there are also many other cybersecurity threats facing businesses that are equally, if not more dangerous than ransomware.  The key to effective organization cybersecurity is to regularly test and innovate current security defenses while investing in new security technologies.

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