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Is Your Business Prepared To Detect & Defend Against Ransomware?

Business leaders are tasked with educating workers about ransomware and implementing safeguards. A managed IT cybersecurity specialist may be your best defense.

 

Ransomware ranks among the more preferred methods used by hackers to breach business networks and turn a profit at the expense of hard-working people. Cybercriminals use wide-ranging strategies to trick unsuspecting team members who are focused on goal achievement. The rampant use of ransomware poses an imminent danger to the business community.

In a world in which a digital burglar can target your organization from thousands of miles away, no one is immune. Consider these ransomware attack targets, according to The State of Ransomware in the US: Report and Statistics 2019.

  • 113 state and municipal governments and agencies
  • 764 healthcare providers
  • 89 universities, colleges, and school districts. This means that up to 1,233 individual schools were affected.

“In 2019, the U.S. was hit by an unprecedented and unrelenting barrage of ransomware attacks,” according to the report. “Ransomware attacks that impacted at least 966 government agencies, educational establishments and healthcare providers at a potential cost in excess of $7.5 billion.”

Some cybercriminals collect personal information and use it to lower your defenses, others cast a wide net in an effort to play the odds. These are crucial reasons why South Florida businesses of all sizes would be wise to acquire actionable knowledge about ransomware and methods to defend your business from an attack.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that locks and encrypts the data in a personal device or business network. Hackers use email and embedded website links as a vehicle. As soon as someone clicks on a malicious link, the program downloads and takes control. Once the data has been compromised, a cybercriminal usually demands a sum of money before they will send you a code to unlock your files or regain access.

These digital hijackers often want the ransom paid in bitcoin to avoid detection from law enforcement. But even when the bitcoin payouts are delivered, victims may or may not receive the promised decryption key. In some instances, hackers delete and cleanse the system to wipe away digital fingerprints. These are four of the commonly deployed types of ransomware that highlight the dangers of an attack.

  • Crypto Malware: This type levels substantial damage to files and hard-drives. In 2017, the WannaCry ransomware infected thousands of systems globally.
  • Lockers: The name points to precisely the method used. It locks individuals and businesses out of your device or network.
  • Doxware: Just like its moniker, it pilfers sensitive personal information with the threat of publishing it on the internet unless payment is rendered.
  • Mobile Ransomware: Digital thieves have shifted their emphasis to include endpoint devices. Remote connectivity creates gaps when organizations fail to implement enterprise-level cybersecurity.

How To Protect Your Business Against Ransomware Attacks?

Understanding the prevalence, cost, and risk associated with a ransomware incursion, is only half the battle. Businesses must remain hyper-vigilant to deter and defend against such breaches because they could result in the permanent loss of your valuable data. These are five steps that can improve your ransomware cybersecurity defenses.

  • 1: Develop and implement a robust business continuity and disaster recovery plan. This includes daily backups of company data.
  • 2: Utilize top-tier cybersecurity measures such as business-level firewalls, and anti-virus software, among others.
  • 3: Never click on or download any file without verifying it was sent from a legitimate source.
  • 4: Engage the entire workforce in ongoing cybersecurity awareness and training.
  • 5: Vet your managed IT resource thoroughly. Too many companies claim to be cybersecurity experts that do not have the experience or knowledge to keep your organization safe.

Cybercriminals are expected to continue to hone their scurrilous scams to prey on honest businesses. But with the right blend of training and managed IT cybersecurity measures, a ransomware attack can be deterred.

LAN InfoTech specializes in managed IT cybersecurity in Southern Florida. Our long-standing reputation and ongoing due diligence about emerging ransomware and other threats are available to serve our business community members. Contact LAN InfoTech for a cybersecurity consultation.