Hackers know what your company’s most valuable asset is: your data. Ransomware exploits that knowledge by holding your data hostage for payment. With over $24 million in ransom collected last year, this profitable scheme is becoming one of the top cybercrimes. With so much at stake, how can you protect your business from a ransomware attack?
Save Your Data
The most effective solution is also perhaps the most obvious – save your data. By backing up your data to an offline device or cloud storage, if you fall prey to a ransomware attack, you can easily restore your data without having to pay off the criminals. Data should be saved daily to minimize losses, and it is essential that it is off your company network, as ransomware attacks often infect multiple computers on the network. If you get a ransom notice, unplug your computer, restore factory settings, and then restore your data.
Install Security Patches
Software commonly has security holes, which can be exploited by hackers to infiltrate your computer. As these weak spots are detected, updates and patches are released to prevent this from happening. To keep your computers and network safe, it is essential to keep up to date with all of these patches. Your anti-virus software should also be regularly updated and kept on at all times.
Look Before you Click
Ransomware and other malware typically infect a computer via an email attachment, compromised ads, or malicious links. Employees should be trained to look for suspicious URLs and to scan all attachments before downloading.
Many companies that end up paying the ransom requests do so because the loss of data or time in restoring data is just too costly to their business. However, this ultimately makes you more vulnerable to future attacks, as well as giving the criminals more funds to work with. If possible, develop a strategy to get critical information back online quickly, to reduce the pressure to give in to the hacker’s demands.
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing cybercrimes, so your company needs to plan a response now. You can take steps today to prevent an attack in the first place, but you should also have a recovery strategy to limit the damage that could potentially occur.