Companies are always at risk for cyber attacks. However, the dangerous digital world today is becoming even more a risk for businesses. In fact, the FBI estimates that ransomware is 82% more common than it was in the past.
And the cost of being attacked by a ransomware criminal has exploded by over 400%. So in this article, let’s talk about what ransomware is and techniques for protection against ransomware.
While hiring a firm for cyber security in Atlanta is always the first recommendation, you can never have too much knowledge. That way your company continues to thrive even in a complicated digital landscape.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is malware. It’s a type of program that encrypts your data and prevents you from being able to run your business.
It’s called ransomware because unless you pay a ransom to the hackers, then they will not release your data or infrastructure back to you. The ransom could range anywhere from a few thousand dollars up to several million dollars.
That’s why protecting from ransomware attacks is so paramount. The ransomware attackers will sometimes leave a note within the program telling you exactly where to send the money and how much to pay.
Typically it goes to some kind of bitcoin or other cryptocurrency address so that it cannot be tracked. In fact ransomware has become so popular that there’s even a subservice called RaaS or “Ransomware as a Service.”
The Complexity Of Ransomware
Due to the amount that can be earned with ransomware payouts, a lot of international hackers are shifting their strategy to ransomware instead of other types of attacks. And it has evolved. Now some ransomware thieves will steal the files before they encrypt them.
Instead of simply locking you out, they threaten to release the files publicly if you don’t pay. For instance, if they wanted to reveal your trade secrets, you would have to pay a large sum of money. Otherwise, all of your competitors may learn your contracts, your protocols, SOPs, and more.
Another style of extortion is called a denial of service attack (DoS). This is where the hackers take down your website. In other words, they send so much traffic to your site that it can’t function.
Who is Vulnerable to Ransomware?
Ransomware can affect small and medium-sized businesses alike. Your business can be largely affected by ransomware if they target any one of the devices used by one of your team members. It can be a simple smartphone or a computer.
From here they can then spread the virus into another device. Ultimately they can shut down your entire IT department, finances, accounting and more. If you don’t have the proper security in place you could deal with regulatory fines for putting your customers’ information at risk.
This all begs the question, how can you prevent ransomware attacks?
How To Protect From Ransomware
There are several ways to prevent ransomware attacks. The first is to hire a professional cyber security company in Atlanta like JETT Business Technology.
JETT BT uses a variety of methods to help you stay protected against cyber attacks such as:
Learn how not to click on malicious links and fall for basic traps via email
Dark Web Monitoring
See if your information is floating around somewhere on the dark web. This is somewhere where criminals hang out and you may not have known about.
Keep someone from accessing a device by creating multiple lines of defense. This is one of the quickest ways to protect your business.
Create An Awareness Campaign
Hold a meeting or send out a memo to inform your team that ransomware is on your agenda. This will let them know not to fall victim to common pitfalls.
Update your software
Keep your software up to date. Sometimes the easiest way for a ransomware attack to happen is via a patch that you failed to make on a piece of software that runs your business. You can consult with an IT firm to make sure your certifications are all in order.
Limit Remote Access
If you have a remote desktop protocol, then you might consider disabling this. This lets your workers log in remotely, but it also lets criminals access your systems.
VPN and Firewall
There are certain software that can help you protect against malicious software that may be injected via online code. By installing and maintaining this software, you can stop the ransomware attack in its tracks.
Backup Your Information
The last thing you want is for a hacker to be able to hold your company hostage because you don’t have access to your infrastructure. If you have backups, then you won’t need them and you won’t have to pay the ransom or shut down your business in the meantime.
Steps To Take After A Ransomware Attack
First thing you should do is contact the police and FBI if you were a victim of a ransomware attack. Secondly, you should get your IT personnel looped in. They may be able to help you mitigate some of the risks. Thirdly, it is really about prevention.
If you have JETT BT on your side or another enterprise security service, they can actually identify these attacks before they happen. They can help you implement the proper steps to get your information back and get back online ASAP.
Protection Against Ransomware Attacks In Atlanta
At the end of the day, the amount of digital attacks will only increase on businesses of all sizes. The best way to be prepared is to have a team of professionals who are always monitoring your information technology.
So reach out to JETT BT today and discover what your potential risks and solutions are. That way you can protect your company as you move forward. Ultimately, you can grow quickly without putting yourself at risk.