Ransomware is a threat that happens all too often against businesses and other organizations so that cybercriminals can make a quick buck. In many cases, the victim is forced to pay a ransom in order to regain access to his or her data after it’s been encrypted by malicious software. Since this type of attack is becoming all too common, it’s important that your organization is prepared for it and that you know what to do if you become a target for a ransomware attack.
1. Educate Your Employees
Make sure to explain to your employees what malware will look like that may indicate a potential ransomware attack. They will probably receive an email that has a fictitious link that leads to the ransomware. These emails are considered phishing schemes, and it is important to safeguard against them. Make sure that your employees know exactly what these emails may look like and that they know how to avoid a response.
2. Enhance Security
Make sure that your organization is utilizing security measures in order to defend against all kinds of cyber attacks, including ransomware. If you do not maintain a high standard of security, you run the risk of falling victim to ransomware, especially if you just use antivirus software and nothing else. Make sure that you frequently update your software to ensure it is working its best and all security vulnerabilities are patched. Make sure that your software is set up manually as well so that you can manually turn off the firewall in case an attack comes to your organization as well.
3. Create Backups
You need to regularly create a backup that has secure storage of your organization’s data and your employees’ data. A ransomware attack works best when there is only one copy of the secure data, so when you have a backup, you will face a minimal loss to your organization and a lesser amount of damage. You can even consider software that will backup your data automatically on a regular basis either locally, in a cloud service, or both.
It is also important to consistently have something or someone who is able to monitor the data at your organization. There are pieces of software that are called SIEM tools that are made to respond automatically to any malware attack that they detect, including ransomware. They will look for unexpected logins or unauthorized file sharing to a data source. They will then respond and make the necessary changes to protect your organization and your employees from the impending attack.
5. Make Patches
Last but not least, your organization needs to have a system in place that can monitor security patches and manage these patches easily. Develop a system that will manage patches, prioritizing those that are in immediate need of an update or a fix so that ransomware does not occur. Make sure to use a patch as soon as it comes available in order to minimize the chances of a successful attack. When the attack comes, the patch can lock your data down so that it remains safe against hackers.
Ransomware can cause serious financial damage to your organization if you do not take the necessary precautions to prepare for it and protect against it. Being faced with the choice of losing access to all of your company’s data or paying a ridiculous ransom can be a frightening prospect. By following the steps above, however, you can help keep your data private and to ensure your employees do not give away this information.