Data is an important asset for companies, and it will be increasingly important in the future. It can help businesses make more informed decisions and improve their bottom line, but it can also make them a target for a cybersecurity attack – like ransomware.
In 2021, an organization falls victim to a ransomware attack, on average, every 11 seconds with the total global cost of ransomware attacks projected to reach $6 trillion by the end of the year. So, with ransomware casting long shadows across the globe, it’s time to get educated about ransomware, so you can protect your business and not just become another statistic.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that locks the user out of their computer and threatens to damage or hijack their critical data until a ransom is paid. So, essentially your sensitive data is held hostage. This is a bigger problem than most businesses and people probably realize as ransomed data could cause irreparable damage that can have long-lasting effects in all areas of your life.
Ransomware has quickly become one of the most common forms of cyberthreats. In fact, during the pandemic in 2020, ransomware attacks alone had risen by 148% with almost every month in 2021 recording near on double the number of attacks compared to the same month the previous year. While there are certain industries that have been more likely to fall victim to an attack, no industry can be considered safe, and no business should think they are safe.
Oftentimes, businesses feel that threat actors are more likely to attack larger scale organizations and industries, so the smaller the business, the safer you are. This is wrong. With data now being so valuable, all data can be leveraged in ways you may have never previously thought of, so regardless of the business size, you must stay vigilant.
How can you protect your business?
The most important information to take away is:
Antivirus software does not stop ransomware!
Many business owners believe that good antivirus software will protect their organization’s critical data and stop malicious infiltrations – but no. Malware programs are not 100 percent effective against ransomware, and simply keeping your systems patched and up to date will also not stop ransomware. These are all important things to protect your business against attacks, but when ransomware strikes, these things fail, and a simple backup is not always enough.
There are two types of backups. There are the ones that are susceptible to ransomware attacks, and there are those that aren’t. There is a big difference between these backed-up files. This is because the ones that can be accessed by a ransomware attack can be locked and destroyed by it as well, while the other backups don’t have the same vulnerability. Thus, to prevent attacks, it is important that your business has a layered cybersecurity approach that focuses on employee training, comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery strategies and technology, and IT security.
Partner with a Managed Service Provider (MSP)
There are several ways that an MSP could help with cybersecurity. For example, they can provide managed security monitoring to ensure that you have the latest protection and run penetration testing to see how well your system is currently doing against cyberattacks. Some of the other things that an MSP can offer in terms of cybersecurity include firewall management and alerting.
Your firewall is the first line of defense on your network. It can monitor for things like brute force attacks, and malicious websites and stop them before they even enter your network. Certain brands of firewalls with these protection services look for and stop ransomware from activating, thus protecting your files, and an MSP will have the expert knowledge you need to navigate the cybersecurity landscape to guarantee your business has what it needs to ensure the highest level of cybersecurity preparedness. They should also be able to go over your backup plan and all the other aspects of your business’s IT infrastructure including networking, servers, storage, cloud services, and more.
Have you been looking for a layered cybersecurity approach from industry professionals? Call the team at Technology Solutions to see how they can boost your security and your business.