How to Protect Your Business from Ransomware Attacks

Regrettably, ransomware attacks are all too common, posing a significant threat to organizations. The promise of substantial financial gain is a powerful motive for cybercriminals to persist in launching these attacks. Furthermore, the widespread availability of ransomware toolkits on the dark web and the growing interconnectedness of digital systems have created a fertile ground for these malicious actors. The’ State of Ransomware 2024‘ report by Sophos reveals that nearly 60% of organizations were targeted by a ransomware attack in 2023, with 70% of these attacks resulting in data encryption. With a 5x increase in ransom bills over the last 12 months, according to Sophos, organizations must ensure ransomware prevention is at the top of their minds. Use this helpful guide to discover best practices to protect your business from ransomware attacks.

How to Protect Your Business from Ransomware Attacks

What are Ransomware Attacks?

Ransomware attacks are a type of cyber-attack that typically occurs when a user unknowingly downloads a malicious file or clicks on a malicious link. Once the ransomware gains access to the system, it encrypts files, making them inaccessible to the user. The attackers then demand a ransom payment, often in cryptocurrency, in exchange for the decryption key.

These attacks can occur through various methods, such as phishing emails, unsecure websites, poor backup plans, or software vulnerabilities. Addressing these vulnerabilities can prevent a paralyzing attack by denying access to critical data and systems.

How to Prevent a Ransomware Attack

Employee Education and Training

  • Employees are on the front lines of ransomware protection. Anyone can fall victim to disclosing personal information, a phishing attack, clicking a malicious email link, or using risky USB drives. Click the link to learn more about recognizing and avoiding phishing scams and preventing human error.

Regularly Update Software

  • Updated operating systems close any security vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit; the longer software sits without these updates, the longer an attacker can access your system.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

  • Using MFA provides an extra layer of security to the authentication process, making it more challenging for attackers to access sensitive information, systems, or data.

Use a VPN Service (Virtual Private Network)

  • A VPN encrypts your internet connection and secures data that is being transmitted between your device and the VPN server. This practice makes it harder for attackers to intercept data. Additionally, a VPN provides anonymity and hides your IP address, making it harder to locate and attack your device.

Antivirus and Antimalware Software

  • Investing in good antivirus and antimalware will help detect and prevent many types of ransomware attacks. For example, using virus scanners and content filters on your mail servers is a smart way to block ransomware attacks, as they will prevent the risk of spam containing infected or malicious attachments.

Regularly Back-Up Data

  • Data back-ups to a secure, external location are another essential practice to minimize the impact of a potential attack. The backup provides a way to restore any lost information without having to pay a ransom. Learn how cloud storage solutions can protect your data.

What Should You Do if an Attack Happens to You?

In case of a ransomware attack, the first step is to disconnect the infected device from the network to stop the malware from spreading. Next, report the incident to your IT department or a cybersecurity professional. It’s crucial to avoid paying the ransom because there’s no guarantee that you’ll regain access to your files and paying it can further fund criminal activities. Instead, try to restore your system from your oldest available backups. It is also important to communicate the attack to any stakeholders and customers that may have been affected and provide potential next steps. Finally, review and update your cybersecurity measures to prevent future incidents after resolving the attack.

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At IP Pathways, we understand how difficult it is to scale on your own. But what if you could move past the issues currently holding you back? Good news–you can! We identify opportunities in your organization to leverage technology to spark greater growth starting now. Our tailored solutions turn IT into a strategic investment rather than a cost center. With the right tech, you can move faster, innovate, and gain a competitive edge.

Our engineers have deep technical expertise and experience. They architect, implement, monitor, support, and manage custom technology solutions for organizations using only the highest-quality and best-in-class systems. As a result, projects are completed on time and within budget, ready to deliver the results you need to fuel your organization forward. Contact Us

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