Firstly, what is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files and demands a ransom be paid to decrypt them. It’s a growing problem for businesses, with a study finding that nearly 40% of companies have been hit by ransomware attacks. The average ransom demand is £133,000, and the additional cost of downtime, lost productivity, data and reputation can be even higher.
How Does Ransomware Work?
Ransomware works by encrypting a victim’s files with a strong encryption algorithm. Once the files are encrypted, the attacker will demand a ransom be paid to decrypt them. The ransom is typically paid in cryptocurrency, which makes it difficult to trace. In some cases, the attacker may also threaten to release the encrypted files publicly if the ransom is not paid.
How Can You Protect Your Business Against Ransomware Attacks?
There are several steps you can take to protect your business against ransomware attacks:
1. Train your employees in cybersecurity best practices. This includes things like not opening email attachments from unknown senders and not clicking on links in emails from unknown senders.
2. Use a reputable antivirus and antispyware program. Be sure to keep your software up to date with the latest security patches.
3. Back up your data regularly. This way, if your files do get encrypted, you’ll still have copies of them that you can restore.
4. Disable macros in Microsoft Office documents. Macros are often used by attackers to deliver ransomware payloads. By disabling macros, you can prevent these attacks from happening in the first place
Restrict access to sensitive data. Only give employees the access they need to do their job. This limits the damage that can be done in the event of an attack.
6. Implement security controls such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems. These can help to detect and prevent attacks before they happen.
7. Keep your software up to date. Out-of-date software is one of the most common ways that attackers gain access to systems. By keeping your software up to date, you can close these security holes before they can be exploited.
8. Monitor your network for unusual activity. This can help you to detect attacks early and take action to mitigate the damage.
9. Respond quickly to incidents. The faster you can contain an attack, the less damage it will cause.
10. Have a plan in place for how to respond to an attack. This should include things like who to contact and what steps need to be taken to recover from the attack.
Ransomware is a serious threat to businesses of all sizes. But by taking some simple precautions, you can protect your business against this type of attack.