As a business owner, it’s important to stay informed and up-to-date with the latest cyber security trends. Ransomware is one of the most dangerous and costly threats facing businesses today. Sophos’s State of Ransomware 2022 report found two thirds of respondents stated their organisation was affected by ransomware – and almost half of respondents had to pay a ransom to get their data back.
To ensure your business is safe from ransomware, you’ll need to understand the various ways it can enter your system, implement safeguards to protect your system and data, and have a plan for responding to a ransomware attack.
Knowing the essential tips for improving your ransomware resiliency can help protect your business from a debilitating attack.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts your data and holds it ransom until you pay a fee. It can enter your system in several ways, such as through an infected email attachment. This is the most common way ransomware enters a system. The email appears legitimate, but clicking on links or attachments in the email opens a gateway for the ransomware to enter your systems.
Once the malware is on your system, it can easily spread to other computers and devices on your network. It will then try to encrypt sensitive data and files.
Ransomware is one of the most common types of cybercrime and can have devastating effects on individuals and organisations. It can cause significant financial losses, as they may be forced to pay the ransom or face the consequences of losing their data. It can also lead to reputational damage, as customers may lose trust in your business if their data is compromised.
Tips to improve ransomware resiliency
Make sure the users on your network have the proper permissions and controls in place to protect your data. They should have the least amount of permissions possible to do their job. This ensures that even if one of your users is infected with ransomware and clicks on a malicious link, ransomware won’t be able to spread throughout your network.
Limiting the amount of data your employees can access can prevent ransomware from gaining access to sensitive data and files if it breaches your network.
Many businesses overlook the importance of vulnerability scanning in their cybersecurity plans, assuming that their current antivirus software will protect them from malicious attacks. While effective antivirus software is important protection, it doesn’t cover everything.
Vulnerability scanning can help identify weak points in your network that can be exploited by ransomware. Patching these vulnerabilities will strengthen your network against possible attacks.
Penetration testing is a vital tool for businesses that are looking to improve their ransomware resiliency. It is a method of security testing that can simulate a real-world attack on your systems, so that you can identify any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cybercriminals.
Another benefit of penetration testing is that it can help you develop effective strategies for dealing with ransomware attacks. If any weaknesses are identified during the test, you can create plans for mitigating them and for responding to any potential attacks.
By regularly conducting penetration tests, you can ensure that your systems are secure and that any weaknesses are promptly identified and addressed.
Threat detection software
Some businesses rely on threat detection software to protect their data from ransomware, like Microsoft Sentinel. This software has machine learning algorithms that can identify ransomware and proactively hunt for threats in your systems, rather than passively waiting for them to strike before acting.
However, it’s important to note that ransomware is constantly changing and evolving, so it’s a good idea to have a backup plan in place to restore your data in the event of a successful attack.
Employee security training
Employee training can help employees identify malicious links, attachments and websites, and help them understand the importance of avoiding them. Training can also teach them how to recognise the signs of suspicious activity and report it to the right people in your business. Additionally, it can provide guidance on the types of data that should not be shared and what to do in the event of a security breach.
Security training should be tailored to the specific needs of your business, and regularly reviewed and updated to address any new threats.
Backing up data regularly is the first step in ensuring that your business has a way to recover from a ransomware attack. Data backups should be done on a regular basis and stored in multiple locations in order to ensure that your data can be restored safely in the event of a ransomware attack.
Immutable backups are particularly important as they provide an additional layer of security for organisations with sensitive data. They cannot be changed or deleted, meaning if ransomware encrypts the data, the immutable backup will remain unaffected.
Ensure your business is defended against ransomware
When it comes to ransomware attacks, there are many ways to go about protecting your business from the threat. You can implement a number of strategies and use a number of different tools and solutions to tackle the challenge.
The cyber security specialists at Steadfast Solutions can help you find the right defences for your business, from conducting vulnerability scans and penetration tests, to training your people and managing a threat detection solution. Talk to them today and be prepared.