How to protect your business against ransomware attacks?

While businesses are prioritizing growth and profitability, hackers are working on extorting your company’s money. Their favorite tool to do so is ransomware.  

According to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, “50 to 70% of ransomware attacks were aimed at small and medium-sized companies.” So basically, no business is completely safe from ransomware. 

What is ransomware? 

Ransomware  is malware planted illegally in a computer or mobile device that disables its operation or access to its data until the owner or operator pays to regain control or access.  

The two main types of ransomware are: 

  • Locker ransomware – This is the simplest form and locks users out of their devices. 
  • Crypto ransomware– This one encrypts your data and cannot be accessed without a unique decryption key. 

How does it invade your businesses computer systems? 

Ransomware typically occurs when someone unknowingly clicks on a link in a phishing email or downloads an email attachment. Once activated, it takes over a computer or even an entire network.  

What’s the costs to businesses? 

Once ransomware is installed, the hackers will send a message to the end user via the infected computer. In this message, they demand a payment to restore access to the user’s computer. If a company refuses to pay, the malicious actors will typically threaten to publish or destroy sensitive data.  

The financial costs of paying a ransomware can be staggering. According to cyber insurance carrier Beazley, the average ransom costs $12,000, though a company could pay upward of $240,000 depending on the value of their assets.  

Unfortunately, ransomware is big business and the costs will only continue to increase. Some in the industry like, Cybersecurity Ventures, predict, “ransomware costs to reach $265 billion by 2031.” 

Being educated is not enough to ensure the protection of your business. Greater action is required.   

Here are four security measures you can use to keep your IT systems safe from ransomware:  

  1. Train your employees to recognize suspicious emails, links, and attachments 

About 1 in 6,000 emails contain suspicious URLs, including ransomware. Hackers are finding more creative methods to infiltrate a user’s inbox. Recognizing unknown and suspicious URLs is vital when opening emails. 

  1. Keep your operating system’s security patches up to date: 

Hackers enjoy finding vulnerabilities in a software program or a computer operating system. A hacker will take advantage of these weaknesses by writing malware, to target the vulnerability. These Security patches cover the security holes to keep attackers out of your businesses computers. 

  1. Back up your data regularly in the cloud: 

This lowers the business risk exposure for a company. It also reduces the time to restore data if any software is infected.  

  1. Purchase cyber liability insurance: 

Cyber liability insurance has become essential for businesses, with the increase of ransomware attacks. Key coverage for important services, mitigates damage to a business. This also helps a business get back up and running in the event of a ransomware attack. 

Looking for more help in protecting your business from ransomware?  Learn more about our ransomware protection services here.