- What Is A Ransomware Attack?
- The Dangers Ransomware Poses to Your Business
- How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware is a type of digital malware that blocks access to files or systems. If you are the victim of a ransomware attack, you may find you cannot open your documents and folders or that it’s disabled essential system operations. Both aim to disrupt employee tasks and organization functions.
All companies can be vulnerable to these attacks. Understanding what they are and how they work can help your business create plans for preventing ransomware attacks.
What Is A Ransomware Attack?
Ransomware gets its name because cybercriminals will ask for a ransom. These ransoms can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, causing severe financial damage to organizations. Cybercriminals may use ransomware to withhold access to your files and systems or threaten to leak or sell sensitive information online. However, paying the ransom does not always guarantee hackers will return information or keep it private.
How Does Ransomware Work?
Phishing is the most common approach for ransomware attacks. Employees will receive an email from a seemingly reputable source asking them to open a link, sign in to a system or download a file. The account might claim to be an executive at your organization or a law enforcer investigating activity. Engaging with the email’s contents will install the malware on that individual’s device, giving hackers access to their files, functions and connections.
While phishing is the most common contact method, ransomware attacks can come from many directions. Downloading files from an unsafe site can introduce ransomware on your device. Additionally, many cybercriminals develop this malware to spread to several devices through shared Wi-Fi systems. If ransomware is present on one device, it can spread to others on the same network.
Regardless of how you encounter a piece of ransomware, most work the same way. The malware will encrypt anything from single files to entire operating systems. Once the ransomware has finished, the hacker will send a message to say they will withhold the key to unlock the encryption until you pay the ransom.
Who Uses Ransomware Attacks?
Ransomware attacks can come from anyone. While cybercriminals initially needed some programming knowledge to develop this malware, users today can find ransomware for purchase online.
Cybercriminals might intentionally target your organization because of your money and information or act randomly.
The Dangers Ransomware Poses to Your Business
Ransomware can be a serious threat to your business, impacting your finances and security. A high ransom can damage your company’s financial security and ransom payments reached an average of $812,000 in 2021. Without the funds you need to maintain your company, you may find yourself unable to recover and continue offering services.
Additionally, the attack can leave you vulnerable to data breaches and loss of sensitive information. You might collect and store data about your employees, partners and customers, promising to protect that data and keep it private. Ransomware attacks can target this information for its financial value, causing you to pay a higher ransom or lose data privacy.
Security breaches, halted services and lost data can also hurt your relationships with your partners and customers. Your marketing teams spend most of their efforts creating a specific brand for your business to build trust and attract the right people. Being the victim of a ransomware attack might change your customers’ and partners’ opinions of your company, leading them to seek out your competition.
How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks
IT and cybersecurity experts have developed methods and practices to share with businesses to combat ransomware attacks without paying the demanded amount. Proactive actions can help keep your business and data secure from ransomware attempts, while other techniques can help you make the right decisions should one occur.
1. Educate Your Employees
One of the leading causes of cybersecurity breaches is a lack of employee awareness. When employees do not know how to protect themselves or implement safe practices into their daily work functions, they become vulnerable to cybercrime. Hackers can use your unprotected employees to access the rest of your company’s information.
Developing a robust cybersecurity training program can help reduce your employees’ risk. These programs can teach employees what ransomware attacks look like and how they can protect themselves and the company. Encourage them to follow these best practices:
- Use only secure Wi-Fi.
- Download only from trusted sites.
- Verify email legitimacy with your IT department.
- Develop strong passwords.
Ensuring your employees are well-trained can eliminate a significant ransomware entry point.
2. Duplicate Data
It is essential to keep your data safe, especially when your business encounters ransomware on several fronts. Data duplication is a common practice, especially if you store information on the cloud. While companies often use this security method to mitigate data loss risks from system and server crashes, you can also apply this method to ransomware protection.
When you duplicate your data across multiple server systems, you can continue to access information and files after the ransomware locks or steals your original copies. This system can help you avoid paying hefty ransoms. Because ransomware can travel through systems, be sure your backup servers have no open connections to employee devices or your company Wi-Fi.
3. Follow Cybercrime Trends
To combat ransomware effectively, you need to understand what you are facing. Following new research about ransomware and other malware will keep you up to date on hacker trends and patterns and allow you to adjust training to keep employees aware and safe. For example, you can encourage your employees to be warier about email requests if you see a rise in phishing attacks.
4. Invest in Strong Protective Measures
Safe habits can help keep your business secure, and the right cybersecurity tools can offer comprehensive protection from ransomware. You can find services that scan sites and downloads to ensure they are safe, ask employees to update passwords frequently and consistently and monitor for suspicious behavior.
Protect Your Business From Ransomware With Focus Technology
When it comes to ransomware protection, the right tools can help keep your business safe. Focus Technology offers comprehensive coverage, providing you with safety on all fronts and filling any gaps in your current security programs.
You can expect quality care and services when you partner with Focus Technology. Each company and industry has unique security goals and requirements and we customize all of our services to fit your business and its needs. We can help you design tailored services that provide comprehensive protection for your employees, data and customers.
Contact Focus Technology today and discover how we can protect your business from ransom attacks.