Over the decade, cybercrime has been growing at an intense speed. It hasn’t slowed down at any point and is the biggest business threat. Numerous types of cyber-attacks can result in data breaches, corrupted files, locked servers and financial loss.
Cyber attacks have become even stronger with the increased complexity of technology, such as artificial intelligence. Every business can be and will be a victim of some cyber-attack at some point. The attack could be phishing emails, hacks or ransomware attacks.
Ransomware attacks are one of the worst attacks due to the malware making all the data, servers and network unusable. A business victim of ransomware can do nothing on their own website or network until a massive ransom is paid.
However, there are techniques to avoid and reduce the impact of ransomware attacks. Hence, the article will explain in detail what is ransomware and strategies to increase ransomware protection.
Ransomware is a dangerous malware created to infiltrate business servers and rapidly spread through the entire server and files, taking control of all access. The cybercriminal then quickly sends the user(s) a message informing them they will not gain access until the business pays the ransom.
The organisation’s vital data is encrypted, and they can perform any business activities and face a tough dilemma. In recent years, Ransome has been in cryptocurrency, which makes it challenging for authorities to track the activities back to the attacker.
Cybercrime authorities advise not paying the ransom, but many businesses have no choice due to the significant financial loss they face while their business is paralysed.
The attack is becoming more common due to Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS). Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) is a recent model where developers sell malicious ransomware codes to amateur cyber criminals to help them attack successfully. These expert developers then take a percentage of the acquired ransom.
The increase in ransomware attacks is the reason ransomware protection is becoming crucial, and every business must have adequate strategies to avoid and battle cyber-attacks.
Best Ransomware Protection Strategies for Businesses
Cybersecurity programs are a must in today’s business strategy. The cyber security programs include antivirus and firewall software that detects, manages and removes cyber threats. Comprehensive cybersecurity is the first line of defence that has been helping companies for years.
The right cybersecurity software is the top ransomware protection any business can invest in. It may seem expensive on day one, but when facing cyber threats, it is worth it. Companies need to understand that their antivirus and firewall software protects them from hundreds of attacks, which could have added to millions in financial loss.
The businesses must update and install softwares on all company devices. However, one must be aware of fake alerts, as many malware use fake alerts to convince users to click on a ‘remove threat‘ link. Every software notification should be studied with wording and logo.
The defence strategy is crucial for every business but will never guarantee 100% ransomware prevention. Some attacks with the combination of human error may still make it through.
A recent research by IBM discovered human error is the leading cause of 95% of cyber-attacks. Human error or employee cyber error is when an employee intentionally assists a cyber-attack due to their actions or lack of actions. The actions include clicking on malicious links, opening phishing emails, using weak passwords, using unsecure WIFI, or surfing malicious websites.
Cyber security training is a vital ransomware protection strategy to reduce human error and eventually reduce the chance of ransomware. The training can include experts providing cyber knowledge seminars and teaching employees the importance of being cyber secure.
With regular and updated cyber training, employees can detect phishing emails, understand different attacks, effectively password-protect accounts and question whenever a website feels odd.
In addition, employees should also understand how to report and react when dealing with a ransomware attack. One of the best ways to respond to ransomware is to isolate the infected device (remove it from the network) and turn off the WIFI. The quicker the actions, the less chance of spreading through the business network.
Frequent Data Backup
When a business faces a ransomware attack, they are locked out from their data and servers. The encrypted data is the primary concern during the situation, as typically, a company has spent years generating the data, which could be gone in a matter of minutes.
The best way to avoid the stress of being locked out of key files is to ensure there are backups. Frequent data backup is an essential ransomware protection strategy. If the ransomware has infected and locked files, you can factory reset the device, removing the threat. Once the reset is completed, the business can replace the files and begin regular operations.
Firms should backup data at least once a week or more, manually or with automatic backup software. Businesses should store the data offline – the last thing a company wants is backup data to be infected. Data backup may not prevent cyber threats but can help recover without paying the ransom.
Manage Access – Network Segmentation
When a company is infected, it spreads like fire across all the network the devices has access to. However, what if the access is limited to just one department or level? Managing and limiting access can prevent malware from spreading everywhere.
The access management is known as network segmentation. Network segmentation is when a business divides its network into smaller parts and provides access to limited people. For example, a junior employee will only get access to basic data and only be able to access networks they need to work. Even managers will only be able to access their department data and network.
The main purpose is to prevent ransomware in a sub-network from spreading to another. Smaller networks can make it easier to find the first device infected and wipe it out by network resets (if the backup is updated). It is a must ransomware protection strategy for big businesses that have several branches and departments.
At some points, businesses can’t do anything to prevent ransomware, and it passes all prevention. This is always possible due to how intelligent and innovative cyber-attacks have become.
When facing ransomware attacks, the costs may be too expensive to pay, and the damage may be too much to recover from. Businesses may feel stuck in this situation when they do not have a final safety net ransomware protection. The final and must ransomware protection strategy is cyber insurance. The insurance may be the final line of defence but should be purchased simultaneously with the softwares and other mandatory insurance.
Cyber insurance is an essential policy today with the increased sophistication of cyber-attacks and cyber security errors. The insurance will cover cyber experts’ advice, threat removal, data recovery, informing third parties and financial loss. The insurance will help a business recover with less damage and understand how to deal with future attacks. However, the insurance company must be the first call when a company detects a ransomware attack.
Why Are Ransomware Protection Strategies Crucial for Every Business?
The above strategies are vital for ransomware protection but also cyber threat protection. When businesses follow all strategies correctly, they have the proper cyber defence to avoid and deal with cyber-attacks.
No matter the industry, every business needs each strategy today; even the smallest business in the middle of nowhere can be a ransomware victim. It is essential to understand that following solely one strategy may not be enough.
Your business works hard to create and gather data and develop the business; hence, it is crucial to have the best cyber defence and cyber insurance safety nets.
It is all about protecting your business, clients and customers’ data and privacy. These strategies will help your business battle cyber threats today, tomorrow and in the unforeseen future.