Ransomware attacks have increased exponentially in the last two years. With the pandemic forcing everyone to work remotely, ransom attacks have risen by 148%. That’s an alarming number considering the duration. Only last week, Accenture became a victim of a ransomware attack, but the tech giant immediately contained it.
“WannaCry” was another famous, malicious attack that hit both small and businesses across the globe and brought them to a stop. The program attacked MS Office operating systems where the hackers took the user’s data hostage for a Bitcoin ransom.
But why do big and small businesses fall victim to ransomware attacks? How can organizations build strong cyber defense systems to prevent such attacks? Let us take a look at them now.
Why Organizations Fall Victim to Ransomware Attacks?
Poor cybersecurity and not fixing underlying attacks are the major reasons for becoming an easy target to hackers. Also, your businesses can become a frequent target to different types of ransom attacks if you’ve already witnessed them once. You also tend to fall victim to opportunistic attacks, especially if you have systems connected to the Internet that are vulnerable or not protected.
Secondly, if the early attackers leave a backdoor in your network that they can access when required, you can be attacked more than once. Although it happens less frequently, you cannot rule this out completely. Once you pay the attackers, the greed to earn more can lead them to target your systems again. Especially if they are still vulnerable. Constantly upgrading network security and monitoring your network can save you from such future attacks.
5 Tips to Protect Your Business from Ransomware Attacks
Evolving technology has made businesses dependent on data-driven networks. This gives ransom attackers myriad opportunities to find loopholes in your system security and target them time and again. Here are some useful tips to protect your business from ransomware attacks.
1 Educating and training your employees
Your employees can be an “insider threat” if you do not train them regularly on system security. Insider threat is nothing but negligence or any error by your employee that can lead to complete compromise of your data and security. Also, since all your employees aren’t aware of security breaches, they become easy victims of hackers. Educate your employees on what are ransomware attacks, how their computers can be compromised, and what they can do to prevent them. Teach them about phishing emails and how to avoid opening them. Such awareness helps prevent these security breaches.
2 Layer security measures
Taking a layered approach to network security helps you prevent security breaches for your business. This means using a combination of security tools such as anti-virus, firewall, anti-malware, spam filters, etc. to prevent data loss and cyber breaches. Most IT experts suggest using a combination of security tools so even if one fails, other layers offer enough protection to the systems.
3 Use multifactor authentication and strong passwords
It is always a good practice to use multifactor or two-factor authentication for extra security. Two-factor authentication is a two-step process you follow to gain access to your network. First, you provide a username and password on one platform and then confirm your identity on another platform as well. This ensures tighter security and safety. Apart from this, you must encourage your employees to use strong passwords and keep changing them frequently.
4 Back up everything, often
Want to avoid paying hefty sums to intruders even if your systems are compromised? Back up your data every day without fail. A robust backup strategy is one of the most important defenses against ransomware attacks. You can also do regular testing of images and other data to check their integrity. Ensure your IT team follows a proper data backing up process frequently.
5 Use strong spam filters
Educating your employees about phishing is one step. But enabling strong spam filters further enhances the security of your systems. Add strong spam filters to your email and messaging services to avoid receiving any unwarranted files or messages. To prevent spoofing, you can also use DomainKeys Identified Mail, Sender Policy Framework, and Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance.
Whether you are a small business or a flourishing MNC, prevention is always better than cure. To prevent a cyber breach, having all the basic security processes in place is good. Frequent backing up of data, updating the security software, changing passwords frequently, and using strong spam filters are some steps you must follow to steer clear of ransomware attacks.
So, how good is your system security? Let us know in the comments below.