Defending Your Businesses from Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware attacks remain a critical threat to businesses, government agencies, and individuals in the Spokane/CDA area. Cybercriminals use a wide range of digital manipulation, and clever ransomware schemes have proven profitable for thieves. An overwhelming number of attacks were reported in 2019, and digital bandits show no signs of changing tactics. That’s why Philantech3’s managed IT cybersecurity guides want to share our knowledge about ransomware and how to prevent becoming a victim.
What Businesses Need to Know About Ransomware
At its core, ransomware is the equivalent of kidnapping and extorting a family for money. The crime follows that same primary method with your valuable data or network being held hostage until the kidnapper receives payment, usually in Bitcoin. Once received, the cybercriminal might unlock the files or provide you with a decryption key to recover your property. It’s not uncommon for organizations to pay the ransom and never recover their data, just like in kidnapping cases.
There are a variety of vehicles that these rogue entities use to deposit malicious software into a device or business network. Direct email— also known as “Phishing” — remains the most prevalent way to attack. Scam websites and tainted apps, among others, can also facilitate the criminal act.
Their schemes ultimately rely on lulling someone into a false sense of security, so they click on a malicious link or download a file. Once either of those things happens, the ransomware seizes control of your valuable data. It may seem counterintuitive given how simple the schemes appear, but hackers have been wildly successful extorting businesses.
“In 2019, 205,280 organizations submitted files that had been hacked in a ransomware attack — a 41 percent increase from the year before,” the New York Times reports. “The average payment to release files spiked to $84,116 in the last quarter of 2019, more than double what it was the previous quarter … Security experts say that even these numbers underestimate the true cost of ransomware attacks, which have disrupted factories and basic infrastructure and forced businesses to shut down.”
Training and Managed Cybersecurity and Can Deter Ransomware Attacks
Online thieves continue to pull off successful schemes mainly because organizations do not have the determined cybersecurity readiness necessary to stop them. Most operations rely on basic cybersecurity measures such as firewalls and antivirus software. Too often, these prove deficient when confronting an experienced hacker.
But by working with a third-party cybersecurity expert, your organization can frustrate even the most devious criminal. These are IT strategies that have proven effective against network breaches.
- Enterprise-Level Firewalls: Companies sometimes invest in only basic firewalls while top-tier protections are necessary. Enterprise firewalls can block ransomware and other malicious software from gaining a foothold.
- Virtual Private Networks (VPN): Given the increase in remote workforces, VPNs allow your team members to access Wi-Fi from any location without others seeing the connection. As the old saying goes: Out of sight, out of mind.
- Intrusion Detection: Managed IT services include ongoing monitoring and comprehensive malware detection. By identifying and eliminating threats, your organization won’t experience disruption.
- Continuity & Recovery: Working with a third-party consultant includes developing long-term strategies. These include following through on daily data backups in separate hard-drives and the Cloud, among others. Having secure data means you won’t be held hostage.
- Ongoing Training: Third-party managed IT professionals stay current about emerging ransomware and other threats, and relay the same information to your company. A successful cybersecurity program requires ongoing employee training about ransomware protocols and training to identify suspicious emails, apps, and websites.
Given the year-over-year growth in ransomware attacks on the business community, these criminal activities have yet to reach critical mass. But that does not mean your organization has to join the ranks of ransomware victims. By working with a top-notch managed IT firm, proactive measures can be implemented for long-term protection. At Philantech3, our team of experienced IT professional provide knowledge, tools, and oversight to protect you against cybersecurity breaches. Give us a call and we’d love to help keep you protected.