The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Assurance Agency (CISA) of the U.S. Government defines ransomware as follows:
“Ransomware is an ever-evolving form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable. Malicious actors then demand ransom in exchange for decryption. Ransomware actors often target and threaten to sell or leak exfiltrated data or authentication information if the ransom is not paid.”
The Ransomware Threat
Ransomware attacks have been the most common cyberattacks in the past 12 months in the US. Almost up by 150% since 2019, even the amount of ransom demanded jumped by more than 300% in 2020.
Hackers spared no one. As if on a ransom spree, they attacked healthcare services, stock markets, schools, cruise line operators, pipelines, and even vaccine developers. These attacks hit infrastructure as well as critical facilities across the country.
The COVID-19 crisis became fertile ground for hackers to take advantage of. They used the turmoil and disorder of an ongoing pandemic to make monetary gains through increased ransomware attacks. With more and more businesses adopting the work from home office culture due to COVID-19, cyberattacks have gone up even more.
Will the evolving Omicron situation present another possibility to the attackers? We can only wait and watch to see what happens.
Yes, ransomware attacks are an ever-evolving threat, but companies do have options to avoid falling victim to a cyberattack. Even if businesses can’t prevent an attack all together, they can at least adopt certain measures to lessen the impact of one, in case their network is compromised by attackers. Read on to know of some such steps.
How to Stay Safe from a Ransomware Attack
While no such time-tested or well-researched solution or safety method is available to businesses that they can use to safeguard themselves from a ransomware attack, there are a few steps they can take to try and reduce the risk of one. Some of these steps include:
- Ensure that ransom is a part of their cyber insurance policy.
- Have multi-factor authentication enabled in all company accounts along with putting in place strong spam filters.
- Regularly test and check back-up systems. Ensure they remain segregated from other systems of the organization.
- Design a detailed incident response plan as per which every person of responsibility in the company knows what to do at the time of a ransomware attack.
- Put in place a communication channel that the senior management can use to stay in touch, such as a texting app that can be used internally.
- Train employees to identify phishing mails.
- Identify high-risk employees and keep on high alert so a cyberattack can be averted.
- Educate staff about the modus operandi that hackers use at the time of a ransomware attack so they are prepared and know what to do.
- Keep themselves updated about the cybersecurity programs and protocols being followed by their key vendors.
Reach For the Cloud
As the threat of ransomware continues to loom over businesses big and small, many are looking to partner with cloud service providers to safeguard their data from cyberattacks. Why a cloud backup?
Because if an organization has their data safely stored on a cloud backup, the risk of losing all of their data to a ransomware attack is reduced. The company can simply restore their network system by retrieving the backup data from the cloud.
At Patchnet we understand how a cyberattack can cost a business its valuable time and productivity. As a cloud-focused solution provider and as a Microsoft partner it is our mission to provide you with a stable foundation for your business and offer effective solutions.
Microsoft Security not only helps you combat ransomware attacks but also secures your organization for future cyber disturbances. To know more you can reach us at (877) 891-6911 for tailored solutions that suit your requirements and meet your needs.
Contact us today!