Ransomware has businesses of every industry on their toes as well as rethinking their current cybersecurity strategy. Not only is a ransomware attack expensive but so are the damages that result after the attack. As in the case with the recent City of Atlanta Ransomware attack, the damages have reached over 2 million dollars and have caused the city to scramble in trying to smooth things over.
In our Ransomware 101 guide, we covered ransomware in four chapters:
Chapter 1. What is Ransomware?
Chapter 2. How Does Ransomware Spread?
Chapter 3. Three Ways To Protect Against Ransomware
Chapter 4. Ransomware Summed Up
In this article, we will discuss what we have learned about ransomware and review chapters one through three.
So what have we learned about ransomware? Let's review.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that maliciously encrypts your data to prevent you from accessing it unless you pay a ransom to the creators of the ransomware. Usually, ransomware is carried out through phishing attacks that carry a malicious attachment or instruct recipients to click on a URL that downloads malware to their computer. Healthcare practices can also be infected with ransomware if users visit a website that features compromised advertisements. Even if you have not been a victim of ransomware, identifying risks so that you can protect your network from these types of attacks is now an integral part of any network security framework plan.
It is clear, based on industry trends, that certain sectors are more prone to ransomware infections than others due to their critical data and reliance on it for daily operations.
• Healthcare providers
• Government agencies
• Educational institutions
• Legal firms
How Does Ransomware Spread?
Ransomware is distributed in a variety of ways and is difficult to protect against because, just like the flu virus, it is continuously evolving. There are a few dominant types, or families, of ransomware in existence. Each type has its variants, and new families surface as time goes on.
Spam is the most common method for distributing ransomware. It is generally spread using some form of social engineering by tricking victims into downloading an e-mail attachment or clicking a link. Fake email messages might appear to be a note from a friend or colleague asking a user to check out an attached file, for example. Alternatively, email might come from a trusted institution (such as a bank) asking you to perform a routine task.
Three Ways To Protect Against Ransomware
A proper ransomware protection strategy requires a three-pronged approach, comprising of education, security, and backup.
First and foremost, education is essential to protect your business against ransomware. It is critical that your staff understands what ransomware is and the threats that it poses.
Antivirus software is essential for any business to protect against ransomware and other risks. Ensure your security software is up to date, as well, to protect against newly identified threats. Keep all business applications patched and updated to minimize vulnerabilities. Some antivirus software products offer ransomware-specific functionality.
Modern total data protection solutions take snapshot-based, incremental backups as frequently as every five minutes to create a series of recovery points. If your business suffers a ransomware attack, this technology allows you to roll-back your data to a point-in-time before the corruption occurred.
Ransomware Summed Up
Cyber extortionists using ransomware are a definite threat to today’s businesses from the local pizza shop to the Fortune 500.However, a little bit of education and the right solutions go a long way. Make sure your employees understand what to watch out for, and you can avoid many headaches.
Never underestimate the dedication or expertise of today’s hackers.They are constantly adapting and improving their weapon of choice which is why you need top-notch security software and backup.
Keep your business safe and give your nerves a break.
To sum it all up, knowledge spreading and security software can help you avoid cyber attacks. Patch management is essential. Be confident that your software is up to date and secure. In the end, backup solutions are what picks up the pieces when all else fails. Consider using a modern backup product that offers features that can permanently eliminate downtime.