While most businesses are aware of the threat of digital extortion, many lack the level of protection necessary to successfully combat an attack. According to a recently released report by the Financial Times, malicious attacks have surpassed human error as the leading cause of data loss.
Ransomware, a category of malware which takes sensitive information hostage until a ransom fee is paid, is directly responsible for a large percentage of this data loss. Ransomware attacks have become a billion dollar a year industry for cyber-criminals. Most people have heard of ransomware following some attacks against larger corporations and government agencies. However, what isn’t so widely publicized is that small to mid-sized businesses have also become a lucrative target for hackers. These smaller businesses don’t have adequate protection in place to prevent or protect against a ransomware attack.
Follow these steps to protect your business against ransomware attacks:
Step #1 Learn about ransomware attacks, and teach your employees to recognize them
Would your employees know what to do if a ransomware attack happened? Would they unknowingly surrender sensitive data such as account information and passwords to hackers? Take the time to learn about the various types of ransomware attacks that hackers use and train employees on what to do should they encounter an alert demanding a ransom to regain access to a device.
The best protection against ransomware is to avoid falling victim to them. In many cases, victims are infected by opening an email that contains malware or clicking on a link that takes them to a website that installs the malware on their system. Don’t open any suspicious emails or click on questionable links.
Step #2 Prioritize network and device protection
Keep your operating system up to date and purchase security programs that scan for malware and ransomware, filtering out any suspicious software. A managed service provider can offer your business the most effective cyber-security options available and make sure your protection is always up-to-date.
Step #3 Invest in the right backup appliance
Purchase a backup appliance with advanced capabilities so that your business can function normally even after a ransomware attack. If hackers were to lock you out of your computers and restrict your access to files, applications, and programs, what would you do? Maintaining businesses continuity in the event of a network hack should be a primary concern. The right backup appliance will allow you to switch over to a backup server within a few minutes and return to business as usual. Every minute that your business is down could translate to thousands of dollars lost.