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Ransomware attacks have been on the rise in the past few years. Statistics show that their number has almost doubled since 2020, primarily due to the shift in working patterns from in-office to working from home. However, they’re hardly a new threat to online existence.
So many employees switching to remote work has provided plenty of opportunities for hackers. Since most businesses have a robust online presence, it is mandatory they protect themselves against this form of cyber hostage-taking.
Read on to learn the best ways to keep your online business safe from ransomware attacks.
What Is A Ransomware Attack?
Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts the target’s data and blocks access to it until they pay a ransom. It’s a form of “digital hijacking” and causes harm to users and organizations in many ways. These include:
• Stealing data
• Locking devices and making them unusable
• Encrypting or deleting data
• Taking control of your devices
• Gaining access to credentials
• Using payable services in your name
Cybercriminals practicing this type of attack encrypt the files and demand a ransom payment for giving up the decryption key. This cyberattack has various levels of complexity, from simply encrypting files to actual data theft. Cybercriminals use what are known as “encryption Trojans,” like phishing attempts, to hijack computers. Ransomware types include worms, backdoors, and keyloggers, each using a different way to infiltrate the computer system of the target.
Ransomware attacks put organizations in a position where paying the ransom is the cheapest way to recover their files. Once the target makes the payment, cybercriminals offer the decryption key. However, this form of cyberattack is dangerous for many reasons. Since the attackers don’t always uphold their end of the “deal,” they may still compromise your data. That’s why preventing these attacks must be prioritized in the organization’s cybersecurity architecture from the outset.
Are You a Potential Target of Ransomware?
Several network security issues influence ransomware sensitivity. Here’s how to know if you’re vulnerable to ransomware attacks.
• Your devices are connected to the internet
• The devices have outdated software
• There’s no formal backup plan
• Employees lack end user defensive training
• There isn’t cohesive network mapping
• The firewall isn’t active, or its full features aren’t being utilized
• The firewall is outdated
• Lack of cybersecurity features oversight
If any of these apply to your computer systems, you risk falling victim to ransomware.
To prevent potential attacks, inspect your system by conducting a vulnerability scan. Security software provides you with the necessary examination tools, and you’ll be able to detect vulnerabilities that might let malware infiltrate. This software scans the devices for system glitches and unprotected features. It analyzes both the operating system and the installed programs.
How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks
Being one step ahead of cybercriminals decreases exposure to potential attacks. Here are several ways to protect you and your organization from cyberattacks.
Prevention is the best protection. Training end users on identifying and avoiding potential ransomware is mandatory for any organization. Many businesses use emails to communicate various methods of online safety, such as knowing how to recognize phishing emails or other socially engineered messages.
Frequent Data Backups
You can minimize the impact of a ransomware attack by having protected data backups. Introducing automated data backups is a way to recover from an attack with minimal losses and avoid paying the ransom.
Don’t Click on Unsafe Attachments
Ransomware criminals have developed many ways of infiltrating computer systems. One of the most common ways they can enter is via email attachments and malicious links. Learn to identify suspicious messages and websites and ensure you examine their source. Opening any vague attachment or clicking on a link may start an automatic download, leading to a ransomware infection.
Keep Your System Up to Date
Regular updates of your operating system and cybersecurity features are vital to protecting against ransomware attacks. Ensure that your security patches are the latest since that makes it harder for cybercriminal intrusions.
Why Use Anti-Ransomware Software?
Taking all of these steps considerably prevents ransomware attacks. Even if the attack is resolved and data is returned, just the fact that a business was attacked can wreak havoc on a company’s reputation. An extra layer of protection is never too much. Using anti-malware software helps your devices automatically detect suspicious sources and provides protection from various kinds of ransomware.
Anti-malware software is developed to offer complete protection from digital attacks. These programs scan, identify, and remove malware from an infected system or network using a blacklist consisting of archived malware signatures. Once you run the malware scan, the program compares suspicious files to the blacklist and flags them as malicious.
These programs offer multiple benefits and are regarded as a vital part of cybersecurity architecture. Here are the best benefits of using anti-ransomware software.
• Protection in real time
• Scanning of individual files
• Boot-time scan
• Robust web protection
• Restores corrupted data
• Protects sensitive data
• Quick-scan features
• Terminates potentially infected ads and spam
• Blocks infected attachments
Detecting ransomware can be tricky. However, regularly updating your anti-malware software’s database can help ensure protection from ever-evolving forms of this cyberattack.
Practice Good IT Hygiene
Ransomware attacks resemble real-world hostage-taking, causing severe harm to data and organizations. Attackers may block or destroy important files or gain access to sensitive information.
Education on digital hygiene prevents you from falling victim to these attacks. Additionally, a solid cybersecurity network goes a long way toward keeping you safe. If you are looking for a reliable IT service in St. Joseph or Kansas City, contact ProServ today for the best in ransomware protection.