In recent years, ransomware has become an increasingly common threat, with attacks growing more sophisticated and widespread. For example, in 2022, around 71% of organizations were affected by ransomware. Additionally, 62.9% of these affected organizations paid the ransomware and some recovered their data while others did not.
There are steps you can take to reduce the chances of ransomware infecting your computer or network. Learn how to identify the most common types of ransomware and how to prevent ransomware attacks through seven best practices.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, that blocks access to your system or data until you pay a ransom. It typically spreads through phishing emails and can quickly spread across an entire network if left unchecked.
How Does Ransomware Impact Your Business?
Ransomware can have a devastating financial effect on businesses and can also impact your reputation. It can prevent access to critical data, prevent customers from doing business with you, create operational disruption, and lead to hefty fines due to compliance violations.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) warns that “companies that facilitate ransomware payments to cyber actors on behalf of victims, . . . and companies involved in digital forensics and incident response, not only encourage future ransomware payment demands but also may risk violating OFAC regulations.” These fines can be hefty, so prevention is key.
The Types of Most Common Ransomware
Ransomware can take a variety of forms, but some of the most common types are:
Your data is encrypted and held hostage until you pay a ransom.
Users are locked out of their systems and a full-screen message or image is displayed, demanding payment to regain access.
This type of ransomware launches Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against your network until you pay a ransom.
Attackers steal your data and threaten to publish it into the public domain if the ransom is not paid.
This type of ransomware uses fake virus alerts and other tactics to scare users into paying a ransom.
7 Best Practices for Identifying and Preventing Ransomware
To prevent ransomware, there are a few key steps businesses should take:
1. Implement Endpoint Security
The most effective way to protect against ransomware is to implement an endpoint security solution that provides real-time protection against malicious activity. By monitoring your network and systems, you can quickly detect any suspicious behavior or unauthorized access attempts. This will help prevent attacks from occurring in the first place before any damage can be done.
2. Keep All Software Up-to-Date
Make sure all of the software on your network is up-to-date with the latest security patches. This includes both operating systems and applications, as outdated software can be more easily exploited by malicious actors. Additionally, regularly updating your antivirus or antimalware programs will ensure that they can detect and prevent any ransomware infections.
3. Backup Your Data
Having an effective data backup strategy is essential in case a ransomware attack happens. Make sure that all data is regularly backed up, preferably to a cloud-based solution or external storage device. This will give you the ability to restore your systems to a previous, clean state if you do get hit with an attack.
4. Use Network Segmentation
Network segmentation is a great way to prevent the spread of ransomware throughout your network. By breaking up your infrastructure into smaller segments, it can help prevent malicious actors from accessing all parts of your system at once. This will prevent them from being able to encrypt all of your data in one go, minimizing damage and disruption.
4. Implement a Cybersecurity Awareness Program
A good way to prevent ransomware is to have an effective cybersecurity awareness program in place to avoid employees accidentally introducing malicious code into your network. Make sure your employees are aware of the latest best practices and security measures they should be taking, such as not opening suspicious emails or attachments, using strong passwords, and regularly updating software.
5. Limit User Access Privileges
Limiting user access privileges is another effective way to prevent ransomware and limit the damage should an attack occur. By restricting which users have access to certain folders or data, you can prevent malicious actors from easily moving throughout your network and encrypting files.
6. Implement Email Security Measures
Your email system is often the first point of entry for ransomware, so ensure you have effective security measures in place. This includes implementing anti-spam filters to prevent malicious emails from ever reaching your users’ inboxes and using email encryption to prevent data from being intercepted or stolen.
7. Monitor Your Network
Finally, make sure you are regularly monitoring your network to detect any suspicious activity. This can be done manually or by using an automated system that continuously scans your network for threats and anomalies. If detected early enough, these kinds of problems can be dealt with before they become a major issue.
Prevent Ransomware with Integrum Technology’s Cybersecurity Services
Keep your data and company safe by taking proactive measures to prevent ransomware. At Integrum Technology, we offer comprehensive cybersecurity solutions to help you prevent, detect, and respond to all types of threats quickly and effectively.
We offer a range of endpoint security solutions, including our network security platform that provides real-time protection against malicious activity. We also provide email encryption and anti-spam filtering services to prevent ransomware attacks from ever reaching your users.
Contact our experts today to learn how our cybersecurity services can help your business prevent ransomware.