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How These Cyber Security Measures Help Beat Ransomware

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How These Cyber Security Measures Help Beat Ransomware

How These Cyber Security Measures Help Beat Ransomware - Integritek - MSP Company - IT Services

Ransomware is considered one of the most dangerous types of malicious software. It is designed to take control of a victims’ devices, encrypt their files and then demands a ransom payment to the attacker, in order to regain the victim’s data. One study revealed that ransomware attacks increased by 195 percent in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the fourth quarter of 2018. The study also revealed that the prevalence of ransomware attacks increased more than 500 percent when compared to the first quarter of 2018.

How Does Ransomware Spread?

There are a number of ways ransomware can access a victim’s computer. One of the most common methods is phishing—a fraudulent attempt to obtain confidential information by pretending to be a trusted company in electronic communications such as text messaging, email and instant messaging. Once the victim downloads and opens the file containing malware, it can quickly take over their computer, especially if it comes with built-in social engineering tools that trick them into allowing administrative access.

Some ransomware is delivered via drive-by-download attacks on malicious or compromised websites.

In some forms of malware, the hacker might pretend to be a law enforcement agency locking the victim’s computer due to the presence of pirated software or pornography on it and demanding the payment of a “fine.”

Whether or not the ransom is paid, cybercriminals will always try to steal information from a compromised device. Assume all sensitive information on the computer was compromised, which includes usernames and passwords for internal web resources, email addresses, payment information, and more.

The Impact of Ransomware to Companies

Ransomware can cause serious effects that can disrupt a company’s day-to-day operations and lead to data loss. The effects of ransomware attacks include:

  • Business downtime
  • Loss or destruction of crucial business data
  • Loss of productivity
  • Damage of host systems, data, and files
  • Business disruption
  • Loss of reputation of the company

Apart from the ransom, the cost of downtime due to inaccessible data can bring major impacts to the victimized companies. In fact, losses due to downtime cost a company an average of $5,000 to $20,000 a day.

How to Prevent Ransomware

The methods that businesses use to protect themselves from ransomware attacks haven’t improved at the same pace as the attackers. However, there are a few actions that businesses can take to help reduce risk and limit the consequence of a ransomware attack.

  • Keep the operating system patched and up-to-date to make sure there are fewer vulnerabilities to exploit.
  • Provide employee awareness training and testing to reduce the human attack surface
  • Conduct regular backups and store them off-site, as many types of ransomware will spread through drive shares
  • Limit the user’s privilege and network drive connectivity
  • Install antivirus software that specializes in detecting malicious programs like ransomware
  • Use whitelisting software to prevent unauthorized applications from executing in the first place
  • Restrict internet access. Use a proxy server for internet access and install ad-blocking software.
  • Regularly update the company’s policies and procedures to incorporate lessons learned and to stay up-to-date on the current trends.

The most effective strategy for stopping ransomware attacks is to prevent them from ever entering the company network.

Want to learn more about how to beat ransomware? Get in touch with Integritek today!

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