Ransomware: How to Protect Your Business from Cybercrime
The impact of cybercrime continues to grow, and the threat posed by ransomware is no different. In this piece, we take a look at the prevalence of ransomware threats, how businesses can protect themselves from attack, and what steps you should take in the event of a ransomware attack. Read on to arm yourself against these malicious hackers and safeguard your business from attack. As the frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks continue to increase, it’s becoming clear that businesses need to take action if they want to remain secure online. Since data breaches are so common, many people aren’t shocked when they hear about another company experiencing an intrusion. But when you think about what that means for the victims—who likely have private information like their name and address stored somewhere—it becomes much scarier. These days, even restaurants and hotels can be hacked--not just computer software and social media sites. With more than 30 million new variants released every year, it’s also getting harder for antivirus software vendors to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals who release new versions of ransomware before detection software can identify them as malicious. The dangers presented by these cybercriminals are serious enough that we’ve compiled an in-depth guide on everything you need to know about ransomware threats and how you can protect your business from them in this article.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that is designed to block access to a computer system until a ransom is paid. It is mostly distributed through phishing emails or links to malicious websites. There are many different types of ransomware, but they all work in a similar way. It first encrypts a computer’s files, making them impossible to open, and then leaves the user with instructions on how to decrypt the files. If the ransom is paid, the hackers will typically provide the decryption key so that the files can be restored. Ransomware attacks can happen to anyone, and the best way to defend against them is to educate yourself about the threat, take steps to protect your computer, and have a plan in place in the event of an attack.
How does ransomware work?
Ransomware attacks work by getting into a computer system and encrypting files that are then held hostage in exchange for money. Hackers will often use sophisticated software to gain access to a network and find their way into computers. The ransomware may spread through a network by using legitimate tools such as Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to open a port and gain access to other networks. Once inside, the malware can use a variety of techniques to spread to other computers through the network. The most common way to distribute ransomware is through email. Hackers often use phishing emails that appear to be from a legitimate company and urge the recipient to click on a link or download a file. These emails are designed to look legitimate, but they actually lead to websites that host malicious software. Once a computer is infected with ransomware, it will try to spread the virus to other computers on the same network. Another popular way to distribute ransomware is through email attachments. Ransomware typically infects computers through links or files sent in emails. Once the ransomware gets into a computer, it will try to find other computers on the network and infect those as well. The ransomware may also encrypt files that have been stored on an external storage device, like an external hard drive, USB drive, or flash drive.
Why has ransomware become so popular?
Ransomware is so successful because it targets the most valuable assets of your business – your data. Victims often feel either too embarrassed to talk about it or too desperate to get their files back to turn down the ransom. Ransomware attacks can be particularly damaging because they don’t just interrupt your workflow temporarily, they can cause you to lose valuable data. If you don’t have a backup of your data, paying a ransom is often your only option, even though it’s not guaranteed that you’ll get the decryption key. Ransomware attacks are on the rise partly because more businesses have opened their networks due to employees working remotely. People are also conducting more of their lives online, including banking and other financial services, and that has made them more vulnerable to attacks. Many people don’t have robust cybersecurity measures in place, making them easy targets for hackers. Therefore any Gibraltar business should ensure that they follow our strategies for protecting your business from ransom malware.
Strategies for protecting your business from ransom malware
To protect your business from the threat of ransomware, there are several things you can do.
1) Ensure that all the computers in your network have the latest antivirus software installed.
2) Make regular backups of your data and store those backups in a separate location. If you ever do get hit with ransomware, you can restore your data from the backups and avoid paying the ransom.
3) Train your employees to spot potential threats and know how to respond if they think they’ve been attacked.
Steps you should take in the event of a ransomware attack
In the event that your business falls victim to a ransomware attack, there are a few key steps you should take in order to minimize the damage and protect your data. First, it is important to immediately disconnect any infected computers from your network to prevent the spread of the ransomware. Then, you will need to assess the damage and determine which files have been encrypted. Once you have a list of affected files, you should reach out to a professional data recovery company who can help you decrypt the files. Also contact your insurance company and let them know about the attack. They may be able to provide some financial assistance to help with the recovery process.
Finally, you should take steps to prevent future attacks by implementing better security measures and awareness training for your employees. This includes things like using strong passwords, 2FA, keeping your software up to date, and being cautious when opening emails or clicking on links.
If you get his by Ransomware or any other Cyber-Security attack, get in touch with the IT Lab, a Gibraltar based Cyber-Security and Ransomware Specialist. The fully qualified IT Technicians will come on-site and assess the damage and any possible recovery options. Further the IT Lab offers fully managed IT Services which includes active monitoring of your network and managed backups. Get in touch today for a free consultation.
Ransomware attacks are a serious threat, and businesses need to take action if they want to protect themselves from becoming victims. There are several things you can do to remain protected, including making sure all computers have the latest antivirus software installed, taking regular backups of your data, and educating your employees about the threat. If you do get hit by a ransomware attack, you should disconnect your computer from the internet, make sure you don’t click on any links in emails or download any files from websites that you didn’t intend to go to, and mitigate the damage as much as possible.