Ransomware has been a problem since it began—however, these attacks are becoming more common. This is worrisome, especially for the commercial sector. In 2021 alone, we’ve seen countless attacks on numerous businesses, regardless of their size. This is why it’s more important than ever to take steps to avoid ransomware attacks.
Ransomware prevention begins by training your employees in cybersecurity awareness. You need to give them tools that educate, empower, and motivate them. The more you and your team understands ransomware, the better equipped your organization is to fight back.
Here’s how your company can prevent ransomware:
- Educate and Train: As stated earlier, prevention starts with cybersecurity awareness. This involves education on the dangers of ransomware and other risks, and training that allows your staff to use what they learned in a realistic scenario.
- Change the Culture: To make sure your team follows best practices, you need to create a work culture that encourages the behavior. This can take the form of ongoing education, participating in discussions, or encouraging training sessions.
- Avoid Unknown USBs: You should never connect a USB device to your computer if you don’t know where it came from. Cybercriminals often install ransomware on storage devices and place them in public areas to entice someone into using it. It’s also not uncommon for coworkers with ulterior motives to do something similar.
- Maintain Communication: It’s inevitable that your employees are going to forget some of the lessons they learned. However, you can help them remember by reminding them through ongoing communication about cybersecurity.
- Configure Your Filters: Hackers can launch ransomware in common files like Word documents. However, they most often rely on less common executable file types like .exe, .vbs, and .scr. By configuring your anti-spam filters to flag these file types, you can make it easier to avoid an attack.
- Monitor Your Network: You’re not completely helpless if a ransomware attack is successful. If you catch it early enough, you can mitigate the danger. A managed service provider (MSP) can monitor your network 24/7, alert you to suspicious activity, and remove the threat before end users notice anything wrong.
You’ve likely heard of cyberthreats like Trojans, spyware, and adware. These are all examples of malware, a catch-all term for malicious software meant to harm or exploit your computing devices. Ransomware is a type of malware that holds your data for ransomware by encrypting files, applications, or even your operating system.
No one is safe from a ransomware attack, whether it’s an individual or a company. However, cybercriminals tend to focus most of their attention on corporations. Companies are usually targets because they have access to valuable sensitive information and are more likely than individuals to pay the ransom.
Ransomware isn’t something to take lightly. It has the potential to be incredibly damaging, and that damage often has far-reaching consequences beyond paying the ransom. According to Coveware’s 2020 ransomware report, the damage can be divided into two categories: recovery and downtime costs. Their report also mentions that, on average, downtime ends up costing five to 10 times more than the actual ransom payout.
If you’ve never experienced a ransomware attack, it can be difficult to visualize the immediate and long term implications of a ransomware incident. Regardless, know that becoming a victim can be devastating to even the largest corporations. For example, when the largest oil pipeline on the U.S. east coast suffered an attack earlier this year, the result could’ve had national economic consequences.
Computer Technology Management Services is a leading provider of IT solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. If you’re interested in protecting your company from ransomware, we have you covered with our comprehensive cybersecurity services. From helping you create an incident response plan for ransomware to disaster recovery, we have everything you need to guard your organization from cyberthreats.
Contact us to learn more.
Computer Technology Management Services (CTMS) supports organizations nationwide with high-quality, customizable business IT tools and cybersecurity strategies for dealerships and more.