We've all heard horror stories about ransomware attacks. Businesses suddenly find themselves locked out of their systems, with a demand for payment in order to regain access.
But are these stories really as common as they seem? And what can you do to protect yourself from becoming a victim?
In this post, we will discuss some characteristics of ransomware attacks, and give you some practical tips on how to defend your business.
First, let's start with some basics. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your files and demands a ransom in order to decrypt them. It's usually spread through phishing emails or malicious websites.
Once your system is infected, the ransomware will scan your hard drive for certain file types, including documents, pictures, and videos. It will then encrypt these files, making them unreadable.
In most cases, you'll see a message on your screen demanding a payment in order to decrypt the files. The ransom is usually demanded in Bitcoin, as it's more difficult to trace than other methods of payment.
So, what can you do to protect your business from ransomware attacks?
Here are some practical tips:
1. Keep your software up to date
One of the best ways to protect your system from ransomware is to keep your software up to date. This includes your operating system, as well as any applications that you use.
When a new security vulnerability is discovered, hackers will often try to exploit it by creating new strains of ransomware. By keeping your software up to date, you can make it more difficult for them to succeed.
2. Improve cybersecurity posture
Another important defence is to strengthen your cybersecurity processes and posture. Improve your overall cybersecurity strength and so it can predict, prevent and respond to ever-evolving cyber threats. Identify critical vulnerabilities, ongoing threats, exposures, and existing controls, and provide prescriptive actions. Maintain a continuous security posture assessment and tracking system. This will help to protect your organisation from various cyber threats, including ransomware.
Make sure to keep your email security, firewalls, and other security software up to date, as new strains of ransomware are constantly being created.
3. Be careful what you click on
One of the most common ways that ransomware is spread is through phishing emails. In fact, over 90% of cyber attacks begin with a phishing email. These are emails that appear to be from a legitimate source, but which actually contain malicious links or attachments.
If you receive an email from someone that you don't know, or which looks suspicious, don't click on any links or open any attachments. Report this to the email provider as well as to the security team or your point of contact.
4. Create regular backups
One of the best ways to protect your data from ransomware is to create regular backups. This way, even if your system is infected, you'll still have a copy of your data that you can restore.
There are many different ways to create backups, including using an external hard drive or a cloud-based service. Whichever method you choose, make sure to create regular backups, so that you always have a recent copy of your data.
5. Train your employees
Finally, it's important to train your employees on how to spot phishing emails and other signs of malware. This will help to reduce the risk of an infection in the first place.
You should also have a plan in place for what to do if your system is infected with ransomware. This should include having a backup of your data, so that you can restore it if necessary.
By following these tips, you can help to protect your business from ransomware attacks.