Ransomware is one of the most serious cybersecurity threats in the world, and it is a threat that is evolving as technology improves. Ransomware attacks can affect anything from individual organizations to entire economies and nations. They come on swiftly and can be ruthless in their sophistication. More and more ransomware attacks are being offered as a service by gangs and other criminal groups. The ransomware threat is very real, and you need to know how to protect yourself against it.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that is designed to infect a system and either encrypt, block access to, or, less commonly, delete files. Once this happens, a ransom is demanded by the ransomware software to regain access to the files. This ransom is most often financial and frequently comes as a demand for a bitcoin payment of hundreds to thousands of dollars.
How Is Ransomware Distributed?
Typically, ransomware is triggered when a system user performs an action, such as clicking on a website or downloading a link in an email, or visiting a website that has been compromised. However, ransomware can also be disseminated by what are known as drive-by downloads and malvertising, which can trigger the ransomware without the need for a user to perform a specific action.
How to Protect Against the Ransomware Threat
Receiving a ransomware threat can be distressing, and once ransomware has been installed on your system, the recovery of your files and data can be difficult and time-consuming. The best defense against the ransomware threat is to prevent an attack in the first place. Here are the steps to take to protect your organization against the threat of ransomware:
- Back up your data – This is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself against the ransomware threat. If you have your systems backed up in a location that is completely isolated from your primary network, you can then reboot your systems when they have been attacked and reinstall your files and data.
- Keep your systems up to date – Your software and systems should always be kept up to date with the most recent versions and patches to minimize their vulnerability to ransomware attacks.
- Ensure your anti-virus software is up to date – Make sure you are always using the most updated version of your anti-virus software and ensure all downloads are scanned before they are executed.
- Keep backup hardware on hand – Have additional hardware on hand to use if rebuilding your primary systems is problematic. Make sure this hardware is compatible with your systems.
- Restrict and control permissions – Tightly control permissions to install and run software on your systems by applying the principle of least privilege, which allows only those people who need to complete a specific task to perform the relevant install.
- Educate your employees – Provide education to your employees, so they know how to recognize suspicious emails and websites. This will minimize the risk of them clicking on website links and downloading attachments in emails.
- Develop an incident response plan – Make sure you have a plan in place that will ensure minimal interruption to operations and adequate communication, response, and notification procedures.
The ransomware threat is something to take seriously. You must never let your guard down. Falling victim to a ransomware attack can damage your financial well-being and your reputation.
Contact Platinum Technologies today to find out how we can help you ensure you have maximum protection against ransomware.