The short answer to that question is yes, everyone should be wary of ransomware and take steps to prevent attacks. Cybercriminals do not discriminate; they not only target companies of any size, but they even target individuals in their attacks.

Reasons to Be Concerned About Ransomware

Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly more frequent, and the damage they cause can be severe. Most attacks result in data loss, substantial financial losses, reputational damage, significant downtime, and lost sales, while some result in the downfall of an entire company.

Data loss alone has the potential to put people at risk of fraud or identity theft, along with impacting a company’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis. Additionally, the recovery process can be expensive and time-consuming, even when it comes to smaller-scale attacks. If the data is unable to be recovered, or the company cannot financially manage to recover the data, the cyber attack may devastate a company and lead to its demise.

It is easy to overlook security breaches, especially small ones, and write them off as nothing to worry about. However, just one ransomware infestation (regardless of size) can spread quickly and easily, causing issues on every device, across entire networks, and sometimes even extending outside of the company affecting home networks and devices. Data breaches even impact people who have no formal relationship with a company, such as consumers.

Many companies believe that breaches and cyberattacks won’t happen to them. However, cybercriminals are mainly after one thing: gaining profits with as little work as necessary. This being the case, many cybercriminals target businesses and individuals who have little (or no) security in place. Even if your company has methods in place, or an IT department monitoring, it is challenging for many companies to detect unauthorized activity before an attack; technology is constantly changing and hackers are better able to enter the system. Additionally, some IT professionals are not trained to recognize and remove unverified breaches before they do any damage. If sophisticated cybercriminals perpetrate the attack, it can be almost impossible. What’s worse is that many attackers demand payment in untraceable cryptocurrencies, yielding their entire attack nearly untraceable if a company does not have secure measures in place.

Without a team of professionals aiding a company in mitigating the damages, companies are left alone to solve the problem. In some cases, a company may try to pay the ransom hoping to get their data back. Sadly, even paying the ransom does not guarantee that your information will be unlocked or returned. In fact, paying may make your company a bigger target in the future. In addition, bad actors often make copies of stolen data and sell them on the dark web later, so even if you do get your data back after paying, it is also still out there for more criminal activity. As a result, companies that have been victims of ransomware often look like ripe future targets to other criminal organizations.

Tips to Prevent Ransomware

Some best practices for preventing ransomware attacks include:

  • Employee training and awareness.

  • Security policies (never click on links in email, don’t open suspicious attachments, etc.).

  • Adopt a zero-trust network policy.

  • Keep systems and software updated.

  • Don’t allow any mobile devices or USB sticks to connect to your network.

  • Only download from safe sources.

  • Use a VPN to protect your IP address and hide all internet traffic.

  • Protect your network with a firewall and antivirus/anti-malware software.

  • Segment your network to avoid ransomware spreading throughout.

  • 24/7 network monitoring.

  • Limit user access.

  • Regular security testing.

  • Store backups off-site.

How to Protect Your Company from Ransomware

If you are feeling concerned about cybersecurity and your company, you are in the right mindset. It might be time to review your current plans in case of cyberattack and determine if your company is able to withstand potential ransomware. The first step of this process is an in-depth security audit to find and secure the weak points. Regardless of if your company employs an IT team to monitor security, it is crucial to have a team of cybersecurity experts examine your cybersecurity measures and help you develop a plan to protect your company against Ransomware.

Our team at Socium Solutions specializes not only in helping you to evaluate your current cybersecurity measures, but also in putting together customized programs that place your company’s needs at the forefront. Our goal is to help you protect your company’s hardware, software, mobile devices, networks, and backup solutions.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help protect your company from ransomware and disaster.