A ransomware attack can disrupt a company’s operations and cause costly financial damages. Fortunately, several ways to protect your business against these types of cyber attacks exist.
Educate your employees on how to spot and avoid phishing emails. Also, regularly back up data and apply security patches promptly.
Always resist the temptation to pay a ransom. This only encourages threat actors to continue their criminal activity.
Install Antivirus Software
Ransomware is malware that locks or encrypts your data and won’t return access until you pay a ransom. Attacks can target your whole system or just a single device, and they’re becoming more common as cybercriminals seek big payouts.
When protecting against ransomware attacks ensure your antivirus software is up to date and regularly performs updates. Also, please ensure someone is formally responsible for backing up your data and storing it off-site, disconnected from your network.
Reduce the root causes of ransomware attacks by improving employees’ cybersecurity awareness with phishing and remote desktop protocol (RDP) exploitation training, patching your systems, and integrating threat intelligence with cloud-native security information and event management.
Install Firewall Software
While antivirus software works internally to target malware that has already made it inside your system, a firewall prevents cyberattacks from entering in the first place. It’s a crucial component of your layered security approach, anti-malware software, and spam filters.
Encourage employees to avoid clicking on suspicious-looking attachments or links in emails. Also, limit employee access to personal data and implement a social media policy that restricts work-related information from being posted on social media.
Finally, it’s crucial to isolate infected systems from your network and turn off wireless connectivity until they can be thoroughly scanned and cleaned. Taking these steps can significantly reduce your business’s ransomware risk.
Create a Backup Plan
Cybercriminals often use ransomware to monetize data, so businesses need a plan to protect and recover from these attacks. These plans and protocols should be reviewed regularly, and employees should be trained to spot suspicious email attachments.
A backup plan is critical for protecting your business against ransomware attacks, allowing you to restore files compromised by malware. A backup plan should include full and incremental backups so you can get back up and running quickly if an attack occurs.
A good backup plan will also include hot and cool data to prioritize which data is most critical to your business operations. Your backups should be stored offline to protect them from cyber threats.
Install Anti-Phishing Software
Cybercriminals use phishing attacks to deliver ransomware into your system. They send emails to your employees with dangerous attachments or links that can lead to a compromised website. Educating your staff about cybersecurity threats and implementing a security protocol can help protect against these attacks.
Once a computer has been infected, ransomware will typically try to reach out to a Command-and-Control server for instructions and additional exploitation tools. Perimeter security solutions, including firewalls and secure web gateways, often thwart this phase of the attack kill chain.
Threat actors usually ask victims to pay a ransom to access their systems or devices and steal data. However, paying a ransom does not guarantee to get your data back, and it encourages criminal activity.
Install Malware Scanners
Cybercriminals often hide ransomware as links or attachments in phishing emails. It’s essential to train employees on how to spot phishing emails.
Implement a SIEM solution to detect “precursor” malware activity that can lead to a ransomware attack. These centralized tools can be configured to escalate warnings and indicators to security personnel.
Consider network segmentation to limit the attack surface even if threat actors breach a business’s perimeter. This approach uses a zero-trust architecture to verify identity at every level of access, protecting critical data from being encrypted by ransomware.
Having backups of data can also help protect against ransomware attacks. Backing up data regularly is one of the most accessible risk mitigation practices.
Install Anti-Spyware Software
Antivirus software, firewalls, and regular backups are essential in preventing ransomware attacks from taking hold of your business. But it’s also necessary to educate your staff on the dangers of cyberattacks and how they can recognize suspicious emails, attachments, and website links.
Many ransomware attacks begin with phishing campaigns that trick unsuspecting employees into opening a malicious link or attachment. Once the malware infiltrates the system, it encrypts files and demands a ransom payment.
Businesses should report any ransomware attacks to law enforcement as quickly as possible. This will help law enforcement investigate the attack and find the attackers. It will also allow them to protect other systems from the same episode.
Install a VPN
While avoiding ransomware attacks is nearly impossible, taking the proper steps to protect your business will significantly reduce the risk of one occurring. This includes installing antivirus software, keeping your systems up to date, and creating a backup of essential data.
Additionally, training your employees to recognize suspicious emails, attachments, and website links is essential. Raising employee awareness can make it more difficult for cybercriminals to encrypt your business files.
Additionally, a cyber liability insurance policy will help your business cover the costs of ransomware attacks. This may include lost productivity, data recovery, and business interruption expenses. This is why keeping your insurance policies up to date is essential.
Install a Firewall
Ransomware attacks can occur on any network, but smaller businesses are more vulnerable. Hackers may assume that small business cybersecurity practices are comparatively weak compared to large enterprises.
A firewall can help to protect your business against ransomware attacks. A good firewall will help prevent lateral movement across your IT network by blocking network connections and limiting the number of devices a threat actor can use to access your data.
It’s also essential to educate your employees about the threats of ransomware. This includes training them on how to recognize suspicious emails and websites. Additionally, it’s crucial to restrict social media access on work devices so employees cannot click links that could lead to a ransomware attack.