How Do You Protect Business From Ransomware?

Unfortunately, ransomware is easy to acquire, simple to deploy and is a massive problem for businesses.  We all are very well-aware that many businesses need to take cybersecurity more seriously.  But the elusive question continues to remain – HOW DO YOU PROTECT BUSINESS FROM RANSOMWARE??

First, we must understand how hackers get in.  Some attacks are directly targeted, however most attacks are phishing emails.  A team member may receive an email that looks urgent in nature.  The urgency creates stress, and unfortunately links are often clicked on.  In that moment of stress, you are not thinking as you normally would.  The goal of the hacker is to create that stress response.

Also, be very aware of files you are opening or downloading from the web.  Hackers are staging websites with information that you may have interest in and try to prompt you to download a corrupted file.

Stop, Read, and Think prior to opening emails and clicking on links or attachments.  And when in doubt, do not click! 

Small and medium businesses are appealing targets for ransomware attacks because they usually lack the understanding, budget and resources to prevent, detect, respond, and recover.  It is imperative for these businesses to create processes around cyber security in general, but ransomware prevention in particular, or they could be one attack away from ruining their businesses.

The U.S’ National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60 percent of small and medium businesses are not able to sustain their businesses over six months after a cyber-attack. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average recovery cost for small and medium businesses is $690,000 and they receive 50 to 70 percent of ransomware attacks, stated the US Secretary of Homeland Security.

Businesses are inclined to believe they are protected with their purchased antivirus software, five year old “never been updated” firewall, or just because “they are too small for anyone to care”.  Even better, they pay a Technology Services Provider to install the program, and feel it was professionally installed and will provide all the protection needed. If your Technology Services Provider installs the antivirus software but does not install updates and takes no further preventative action, you are not protected!

Now the answer to the big question, HOW DO YOU BEST PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS FROM RANSOMWARE?  Unfortunately, there is no off the shelf product that will protect your business, this one illusive product does not exist. If it were available, everyone would own it.

The fact is that the type of software you choose is irrelevant!

It is not the software that protects you, but the right process and people in place.  The process of a proven series of products that work together consistently with proactive updates and maintenance.  The right process and people will keep most threat actors out of your systems and decrease the risk of successful attacks to provide the highest level of protection.  The right people and process will be the difference in being aware of an attack and stopping it prior to escalated damages, and in the worst case, having a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) that allows business to continue WITHOUT caving to the demands of the perpetrators

Prevention = Processes for reliable and repeatable Updates, Patches, Training, Back Ups and Disaster Recovery.   These are the key factors in keeping your business safe from ransomware.

Update software and apply Patches regularly.  The bottom line is; ransomware often exploits older or unpatched software.

Train your team members on how to identify possible threats and ask for help early.  Establish two-factor authentication to secure logins.  Also, strong passwords are imperative. Please see our password strength test that explains the importance of the right password and how to create one.

Back Up your computers, servers, firewalls, switches, website, and anything else that the business relies on regularly to a safe place that hackers cannot access.  In case of attack, this will better help your response.  It’s not a matter of IF, it’s WHEN.  You need to be prepared.

Respond quickly.  The more time it takes to respond to an attack, the higher the recovery cost. Be prepared to execute a well thought out pre-planned Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) in case of attack.

In the event of a ransomware attack, a qualified proactive Technology Services Provider can help navigate business cybersecurity protection efforts and have the processes in place to identify a breach, enabling a response to be immediately implemented.  Qualified proactive Technology Services Providers can be the difference between business doors opening again, the duration of downtime and recovery, and be a strategic partner in a pre-planned response strategy.  This relationship could be the difference in how long a response will take and improve business chances of recovering.  It is much better for small and medium sized businesses to have a trained partner in a ransomware situation, than to search for this partner while the attack is taking place.  The longer a breach goes on, the more harm that’s being done, causing greater consequences (i.e. cost).

Immediately identifying the breach and having a pre-planned response could be the difference in your businesses operating again.  Being able to identify a breach is the most important part of the response.  Choose wisely, there is not a second chance to get it right the first time.

Being prepared is everything, not being prepared could cost you everything.   

Let I.T. WORKS! be your Cybersecurity Guardian. A reality check conversation with us puts businesses in a better place to understand their needs and make critical informed decisions.

 

 

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