Nowadays, ransomware attacks are on the rise and are getting dangerous day by day. Therefore here are 6 Tips for Business Owners to Prevent Ransomware Attacks. In 2019 ransomware attacks grew by 41%, with most businesses losing access to their files and valuable data. Moreover, new ransomware variants are on the rise, and it’s best to stay updated on the latest security solutions for safeguarding your business against data loss.
Also See: The growing cost of ransomware attacks
Prevent Ransomware Attacks
How does ransomware work?
Ransomware is a scam used by attackers to hijack people’s computer files, encrypt them and render them unreadable. In most cases, the attackers contact the user demanding vast amounts of money in return for a decryption password.
Luckily, most investigation companies are now coming up to assist victims in negotiating with the attackers. These companies come in handy when ransomware demands significant amounts of Bitcoin.
How does it work? Ransomware attacks systems through spam and phishing emails. They can as well spread through websites and downloads which infect your devices and penetrate your network. The infection modes keep on evolving can affect your systems in numerous ways. Once ransomware infects your computers, it locks your files, making them inaccessible.
Who gets attacked?
Ransomware targets all types of businesses, no matter their size. Most leading corporations have since endured ransomware attacks in recent years. No company is immune to such attacks, and the cases are rising at a fast rate. Some of the most recent attacks in 2020 are;
- Software AG attack
Software AG is one of the leading software vendors in Germany. The company reported a ransomware attack in October 2020. The tech giant was attacked by Clop ransomware, and the attackers demanded over $20 million ransom. The attack interrupted the company’s internal network but didn’t affect customer services.
- Telegram hijack
Another recent attack happened in September 2020, whereby attackers accessed telegram messenger and email data. The attackers used a signalling system to connect to the mobile network and jack the information. IT experts believe that the gang was after two-factor authentication login codes. The effects of the attack have been most felt in the cryptocurrency community.
- Marriott attack
Marriott is a renowned hotel brand with hotel and resort properties in different countries. The latest data breach against the company compromised the personal details of millions of guests in January 2020. This was the second significant breach in two years, whereby attackers accessed clients’ personal information.
How can you avoid ransomware attacks?
- Backup your data
Cyber attacks target your business data stored in your system. Without backup, you can risk losing your information to unauthorized persons. As simple as it sounds, saving your data beyond your desktop will go a long way. Store valuable data in network folders or an external disc, and ensure that the hard drive doesn’t stay connected to your workstation. Also, restrict employees from accessing your important data and limit software installation to a few people.
- Install antivirus
Always have an antivirus installed on your device. In the case of attacks, the antivirus protects against data loss and hacking. There are different antivirus companies, and it’s wise to purchase from renowned providers. Moreover, update your antivirus for the latest versions.
- Avoid clicking on suspicious links
Most hackers send email attachments to unsuspecting users. These are normally masked as urgent messages, fax, or voice messages. By clicking on such links, you expose your system to various attacks. To stay safe, find out whether the attachment safe before opening it.
- Employee training
Workers can compromise the security of your data in many ways. Educate them on online safety and how ransomware can enter your network. Moreover, explain to them what this can do for your business. For example, train them on the importance of downloading material from trusted sites and not to click on links without verifying their source. Also, limit the use of mobile devices on your company’s network. These may include mobile phones, laptops, iPads, and more.
- Data encryption/ Cloud server
Your data on your PC and hard drives are at risk of being compromised. To safeguard the information, encrypt all your company’s data issuing a security software. Also, use cloud storage and avoid storing all your sensitive data on-site. With cloud servers, you hinder employees from stealing your company’s information. For excellent results, discard any paper files that can be used to access your valuable data.
- Content filtering
Even with training, some employees can still expose your company to lots of vulnerabilities. Install filtering software to bar access to malicious sites and protect your data. To get the best content filtering system, consult an IT specialist, and will guide you in picking the most suitable solution for your needs.
What to do after a ransomware attack
There are various things to do after a ransomware attack, these include;
- Disconnect& Isolate
Separate the infected machines to curb the spread of the infection. Once you know about the attack, disconnect from the network to cut the link between the infected systems and the ransomware servers.
Besides, ransomware takes time to infect and encrypt all files, and doing this will safeguard some of the machines.
- Identify& Report the infection.
Check the message on your messages and identification tools to ascertain the type of malware. Ransomware identifies itself by asking for ransom, and there are also sites to help you in doing this.
By identifying the ransomware, you understand the type of files that it encrypts and the removal options. It also makes it easier to report the attack to the relevant authorities.
- Engage an expert
There are various options to go for after a ransomware attack. You choose to decide to pay the ransom, remove the malware, or wipe and try to re-install the systems from scratch. Although it may seem easier to pay the ransom, this encourages more attacks.
Also, encrypting the affected files may not be successful. The best option would be to involve cybersecurity experts. They will help in preventing further damage to your systems and advice on the best measures to take.
A ransomware attack can lead to data loss and cripple your business operations. You can employ different proactive procedures to minimize the risks. The best defence is to leave this to professionals, so search online for experienced service providers and get the best solutions to safeguard your business data.