5 Ways to Protect Your Business Against Ransomware Attacks
Cybercriminals use malware to freeze business systems and demand a ransom be paid to restore them. The good news is that businesses can take several preventative steps to protect their data from these threats. Backing up data and updating software are two of the most important things a business can do. Additionally, identifying the source of an attack helps prevent future episodes.
Implement a layered approach to security.
Ransomware attacks are so common and damaging that businesses of all sizes need to have plans and protocols to prevent and respond to them when they occur. While ransom payment is the most obvious cost, companies can also lose days of productivity and have to rebuild their security networks.
The first layer of a layered approach to cybersecurity is perimeter security. This includes solutions such as firewalls that protect business systems from the outside world and identity, and access management (IAM) controls that limit privileged access based on who needs it and what type of access they require.
The second layer is endpoint security. This includes ensuring that users don’t click on malicious links on social media or in emails from suspicious sources, and it also includes implementing anti-virus and anti-malware software on all devices. It can also include encrypting data servers to protect data from evil characters who might be able to get into the system. Lastly, the third layer is backup and recovery. This includes regular backups of critical data and storing them offsite in cold storage.
Install a firewall
Cybercriminals use a variety of techniques to infect business systems with ransomware. They often use VPN vulnerabilities, email attachments, and phishing links to gain access to businesses and then encrypt their data. After gaining access, they demand money from cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.
It is essential to update your firewall firmware regularly. You should also change default passwords and create additional administrator accounts with limited privileges based on responsibilities. Having a firewall that uses stateful packet inspection is also a good idea.
Employees should be notified about the dangers of ransomware and trained to recognize malicious attachments, links, and emails. If employees know how to spot a dangerous connection, they may be less likely to click on it.
It is also essential to back up your data regularly. You should have someone formally responsible for this task and consider using cloud solutions to store backups offsite. Then, if your company’s files are encrypted by ransomware, you can restore an earlier version without paying the attackers’ demands.
Install anti-malware software
Ransomware is malware that holds data hostage until a fee is paid. Cybercriminals use it to extort money from businesses. It’s one of the most dangerous types of malware.
Even though it’s nearly impossible to prevent ransomware attacks completely, there are things you can do to protect your business. First, you should install an anti-malware software solution in your industry. This tool will scan files and attachments before sending them to your device. It will also encrypt your internet connection, making it harder for cybercriminals to access your information.
Another way to reduce the risk of a ransomware attack is by installing file activity monitoring (FAM) solutions. This solution will monitor the activities of all your network files and alert you when something unusual occurs.
You should also train your employees to recognize the signs of a ransomware attack. They should avoid opening suspicious-looking emails and only connect a USB stick or other storage media to their devices if they know where it came from.
Install a backup solution.
The FBI warns small business owners that cybercriminals hold data hostage and demand ransom payments in virtual currencies that are difficult for law enforcement to trace. You could lose money if attackers get their hands on your company’s customer database, sales figures, or notes.
Ransomware attacks usually start with a malware infection or exploited weakness. A robust perimeter security solution with firewalls, VPNs, and anti-malware software can help protect systems and devices from such attacks.
Keeping computer systems and apps up to date is also an essential defense against ransomware attacks. Software developers regularly release updates that include security patches and upgrades to fix existing vulnerabilities. Ensure someone in your organization is responsible for applying these updates regularly. Also, implement filtering controls for web and email content so staff can avoid opening dangerous attachments or clicking on malicious email links. This is one of the most effective ways to protect data from ransomware. It is also critical to back up all systems and data regularly. Store these backups on a separate device from the system to prevent attackers from bypassing or deleting them.
It’s important to remember that ransomware attacks are almost always the result of human error. Educating employees to be wary of suspicious emails can help mitigate the risk of them inadvertently introducing malware into your system.
Employees should also be taught not to transmit sensitive information over unsecured communications channels such as email, text messaging apps, or social media. This will prevent cybercriminals from stealing your data and using it to gain access to other business systems or networks.
Investing in comprehensive cybersecurity training programs for all your employees can be a great way to protect your company from cyberattacks like ransomware. This should be part of your staff’s onboarding process and re-taught regularly.
Utilizing identity protection solutions that provide visibility into on-premises and cloud identities, detect abnormal behavior, and understand privileged access risk across your organization. Finally, please back up your data daily and store it offline so a ransomware attack can’t freeze it. This will significantly reduce the impact a ransomware threat can have on your business and allow you to avoid paying a ransom.