Did you know that ransomware remains one of the biggest cybersecurity challenges for your business? You might think that all the antivirus software and security standards would have slowed the rate of attacks, but companies of all sizes are still vulnerable to these attacks. Ransomware can effectively shutter your business, causing you to lose the faith of your customers, revenue and even staff members.
See how you can protect your company from the ravages of ransomware through diligent training, ongoing staff education, having the appropriate tools in place and more.
Ransomware Continues to Grow in 2022 — And Beyond
The problem of ransomware isn’t going away, with companies continuing to pay millions of dollars in ransoms to hackers to retrieve company data and resume operations. In the first quarter of 2021, over $590 million was passed to cybercriminals, mostly in the form of untraceable Bitcoin. Some of these instances included money laundering, as these hackers attempted to bring their ill-gotten gains back into a more mainstream funding source.
Ransomware continues to be a lucrative trade with a relatively low barrier to entry and high potential payoff. What’s more frustrating for companies is that there’s no guarantee that they will receive the “keys” to unlock their digital assets once the ransom has been paid, which is why some companies are being advised not to pay the ransom by their IT support staff or external technology firms.
Staff Training is Paramount to Your Company’s Protection From Ransomware
When your employees are aware of the dangers of ransomware, you have fought at least half the battle. Human intervention is the leading cause of ransomware attacks, with unsuspecting staff members taking an action that lowers the proscribed layers of security and allows penetration by external forces. Providing proactive education to your team around the following topics can reduce the change of ransomware infiltration:
- Being wary of suspicious links in emails
- Ensuring that website visits are to valid sites and not spoofed URLs
- Protecting against opening email attachments
- Teaching awareness of social media attacks
- Putting standards in place around opening and sharing documents from suspicious locations
- Create strong password requirements (and stick to them!)
- Explain the dangers of opening emails that went to a spam filter
These simple steps — and ongoing education for your team — can help build a barrier of safety around your company’s digital assets.
Put Robust Data Protection Standards in Place
Is your data being backed up on a regular basis? Are you confident that those backups, and your sensitive customer data, are fully protected in the event of a ransomware attack or other cyberattack? While most companies have now moved their data storage and backup processes to the cloud, there are definitely some options that offer a higher level of security. Your data storage partner should offer redundancy across geographic areas in the event of an outage. Even a simple storm can easily wipe out a data storage hub. With redundancies in place, you can simply access your data from an alternate location.
Create Layers of Protection Around Your Company’s Digital Assets
Keeping your software up-to-date is the bare minimum action you should be taking in today’s digital world. It’s vital that you create multiple layers of protection around your most sensitive and important digital assets that can include private customer or employee data or even company intelligence. To create this layered approach, you should also include firewalls, spam filters and backup protection.
Define Recovery Strategies Before You Need Them
Ransomware attacks aren’t something that happens to “other companies, not to me”. They’re happening to companies of all sizes in all industries — regardless of size. While companies that are highly-regulated are more likely to have standards in place that will enhance protection, ransomware attacks are universally dangerous to organizations. Even with the best security policies, managed software services and multiple redundancies in place, you might still find yourself the victim of an attack.
Perhaps the best protection against these illicit attacks is to have a game plan in place in the event of an attack. Run drills with your teams that include isolating computers or servers that have been attacked. Regularly test staff members’ knowledge of ransomware and invest in training that grades employees on their ability to resist temptation that could lead to an opening for ransomware. Define strategies that allow you to maintain physical and digital operations even when your business’s assets have been compromised.
Let Resilient IT Support Your Denver Company
Still not confident that your company could survive serious ransomware attacks? The friendly and knowledgeable Denver cybersecurity professionals at Resilient Managed Computer Services can help. We work with companies of all sizes to ensure you have the tools and information needed to keep your sensitive data and company operations safe in difficult situations. Contact us at 303-371-7214 for a complimentary initial consultation or fill out our quick online form to learn more. We provide data security, fully managed IT services, consulting, backup and disaster recovery, as well as emergency services. Denver companies have been trusting us with their operations since 1983 and continually increase our knowledge of technology and cybersecurity services to help protect our clients.