Ransomware 101: All about preventing attacks, taking security measures and more!
Contrary to what many business owners & managers may believe, small businesses are at risk of being hacked. In fact, unlike big brands and companies that spend massive amounts on their cybersecurity measures, small businesses often maintain a reactive stance, rather than a proactive one. This often leads to serious security breaches, and many smaller brands may not recover from the impact at all.
There are various cybersecurity threats, of which malware probably tops the list. Malware stands for malicious software, and ransomware is a type of malware. True to the name, the purpose of ransomware is to encrypt files and folders, and in return of granting access, hackers are likely to demand money. In this post, we are discussing more on ransomware and how to prevent such attacks.
Why worry about ransomware?
Ransomware, like most malware programs, can cause serious damage to a business. The company may not be able to access sensible data and systems. Ransomware can lead to partial or full encryption, and hackers typically ask for payment via cryptocurrencies. If the ransom is paid, the hacker may send a key, or unlock the systems. Of course, there is no guarantee that paying the ransom will fix the problem, which is why preventing ransomware attacks should be the first priority of businesses.
How to prevent ransomware attacks?
- Focus on network segmentation. This basically means creating subnetworks, so that impact or security breach on one doesn’t impact others. It is also critical to use firewalls.
- Invest antimalware and anti-ransomware software. There are advanced programs that can prevent ransomware attacks, or send alerts when there is an attempt. These software products are totally worth paying.
- Create backups. Taking regular backups of your systems is particularly important. You have to make sure that you have a scheduled plan for this, so that data can be restored, in case there is a ransomware attack.
- Update your firmware and software programs. From firmware of your IP cameras, to software programs for accounting, payroll and other things, make sure that you update everything, immediately as latest versions become available.
- Focus on employee training. Executives and employees are handing most products, resources, networked assets and systems, and they need to know their role in keeping ransomware attacks in check. If required, get cybersecurity experts to do the job.
Finally, do have a clear password management policy in place, to prevent backdoor entry into systems.