02 Mar Ransomware and how to prepare before an attack
Ransomware is a type of “data kidnapping” where malicious software (malware) is used to block access to a computer system and hold it hostage until a ransom fee is paid. This malicious software wiggles its way into your system when users are tricked by phishing emails or by unknowingly visiting malicious websites or clicking on suspicious advertisements. The files on your system are immediately encrypted and money is demanded to unlock the files.
Ransomware attacks have increased 433 percent1 in the last year with more than 70 percent of the attacks targeting small businesses. According to the FBI, ransomware is on pace to be a $1 billion a year crime. Small businesses spent an average of $879,582 due to damage or theft of its assets2.
To prevent a ransomware attack, do the following:
- Layered security: Use a layered security approach, with all endpoints protected, as well as protection at the mail server and gateway. Prevent threats from ever showing up in an end user’s mailbox.
- Network segmentation: Put critical data on separate network segments and consider internal firewalls or physical separation.
- Raise user awareness: Educate employees so they know what to look for. Continuously update their awareness training with relevant threats and perform social engineering tests.
- Stay up to date: Patch and update everything, including operating systems and software. Scan your network, networked devices, and web applications to identify security holes and frequently pen test your organization to hunt for vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
- Backup and restore: Build a comprehensive backup solution, and backup often. In the event of an attack, you simply restore the files and avoid paying the ransom. Be sure to test your back up to ensure you can quickly restore your files.
- Monitor, detect, respond: Focus on threat detection, 24/7 monitoring and incident investigation and response to detect known and unknown attacks. Track behavior analytics to detect abnormalities among users.
These helpful tips are provided by www.infosightinc.com, a cyber security company that helps ensure the privacy and security of your corporate, personal and financial information.
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1 Arctic Wolf Research
2 Ponemon Institute