“The attack starts, innocently enough, with an email. But when someone clicks the link inside, hackers quickly take over.” Once a cybercriminal is in your network, they start demanding a ransom. Immediately, questions arise: What exactly is ransomware? What should we do now? Why were we targeted? How could we have prevented this?
Ransomware attacks are on the rise and cybercriminals have increasingly started to target all types of businesses, no matter their size. Your business is a target and increased discussion about your business’s IT security can help prevent an attack.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware software that restricts users from gaining access to their network or data by encrypting it. To (hopefully!) get the decryption code to regain access to their own data, the victim must pay the ransom. If the ransom is not paid, the data is gone forever. Criminals use this form of cyberattack because it allows them to make an easy profit by using fear as a tactic. Most businesses are tempted to pay the ransom in order to get data back. However, according to a Symantec ransomware report, only 47% of people who pay the demand actually get their files back. The FBI recommends not paying the ransom if you can avoid it, especially if you have secure backups because criminals gain confidence and will continue to attack businesses.
Understand how your business may be at risk
Beazley, a global cyber risk and insurance company, reported a 105% increase in ransomware attacks in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the first quarter of 2018.
The threat that ransomware poses to businesses is increasing. Cybercriminals are not only targeting big corporations and government facilities for big payouts, they also attack small to mid-size businesses that may have lower security standards and will be more likely to pay a ransom. The ransom demand is not always large, but the impact these attacks have on company productivity ends up making a significant dent in profits due to long downtime.
What you can do to prevent an attack
- Backup your data. Your business should be performing secure backups of your data on a regular basis. Your business should store a copy of your data in a separate location or even better, in the cloud. The cloud adds an extra layer of protection and will help keep your data safe from cybercriminals.
- Update your software and firewall. Outdated software and weak firewalls are a common entry point for cyberattacks. Your firewall protects your system from malware threats before they ever reach your network, so keeping an updated firewall is very important.
- Educate your employees. As a business, educating your employees on cybersecurity and keeping them updated on the latest cyber threats is very important. Employees who are not vigilant may click on risky links and download unsafe content. However, those employees who are cyber aware can actively help stop malware from infiltrating your business’s network. Regular security trainings are helpful to teach your staff how to prevent ransomware attacks.
Overall, your business should be discussing security with your IT partner regularly. Today’s protections do not meet tomorrow’s threats. Do not wait for an attack to happen for you take action. What steps are you taking?
Because of the constantly evolving threat landscape, Tabush Group recently launched a comprehensive service to protect both your systems and your users. Our Premium Defense Service offers additional security to anticipate and prevent cyberattacks. For more information, send us a message or call 212.252.0571.