Protecting Your Business From Ransomware

The increase in online business and remote work has encouraged a startling increase in cyber related crimes. High amongst these cybercrimes is ransomware.

In fact, in 2019 there were reports that ransomware alone may be costing Australians between  $60 – $241million dollars.

In this article we’ll give you 4 things to consider in staving off ransomware attackers.

What is Ransomware exactly?

Ransomware is malicious software that can uses complex encryption to lock your important data until you provide the demanded ransom. In simple words, the attacker is holding your data hostage.

What Can My Company Do?

There are many ways that a business or managed cybersecurity provider can go about fortifying the defences against ransomware and other cyberattacks. Here are 4 useful methods that can help:

1. Carry Our Regular System Patching

Patch management is the process of making sure your software is up to date. Over time, cyber criminals learn ways to compromise software in a way that can be detrimental to your business. By keeping the software current, you can get the latest improvements from the original developers as they try to stay ahead of the hackers themselves. Eliminating known vulnerabilities like this is an easy way to better safeguard your company.

2. Implement Network Monitoring Systems

A network monitoring system can serve to keep track of a company’s entire IT infrastructure  including all devices and systems. From the monitoring system, an administrator can look at each service area to make sure they are functioning optimally. This will allow them to detect early signs of any malicious software and be able to respond effectively.

3. Consistently Backup Data

You are most vulnerable to ransomware if you have important data stored in only one place or a few unsecured locations. In the best case, you should, ensure that your data is consistently backed up and securely stored on an “air-gapped” location. Additionally, you’ll want to version your backups so that if the ransomware was accidentally included in one your backups – then you can revert to an earlier version to at least salvage some of your data.

Note: an “air-gapped” location is one that is not connected to your network.

You are most vulnerable to ransomware if you have important data stored in only one place or a few unsecured locations. In the best case, you should, ensure that your data is consistently backed up and securely stored on an “air-gapped” location. Additionally, you’ll want to version your backups so that if the ransomware was accidentally included in one your backups – then you can revert to an earlier version to at least salvage some of your data.

Note: an “air-gapped” location is one that is not connected to your network.

4. Cybersecurity Awareness Training

“61% of organizations exposed to ransomware by employee ignorance” – Avecto

Education against ransomware and other cyberthreats is one of the most effective ways of protecting your company from potential risks. As cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, training in threat awareness helps businesses to reduce helpdesk spending and ensures their overall cybersecurity investment remains effective.

Some ways that ransomware can be detected include:

  • Inability to access shared, network or even local files
  • Computer crashes
  • Unusual error messages appearing on screen
  • Sudden difficulty using software that previously worked

5. Endpoint Protection

Endpoints are remote devices that communicate with your network. (E.g., laptops, smartphones, tablets, desktops). Unfortunately, antivirus software alone is not enough to fight against advanced and persistent threats that will attack endpoints on your network. Therefore, in order to have a comprehensive strategy against ransomware, your company will need a strategy to safeguard endpoints from potential attacks and data leakage.

Key Takeaways

Ransomware is popular choice for cyberattacks because it works! To make sure you keep the upper hand on attackers you need to always prioritise your cybersecurity efforts. If you find maintaining a cybersafe environment is cumbersome, you should start looking for a managed cyber security professional as soon as possible. In this way, you can safely put your company in the right hands, while you do what you do best.

Elevate is a World Class Managed IT Service provider, operating from right here in Brisbane. Try our cloud solutions package to experience all the benefits of cloud computing mentioned in this article.