Ransomware is one of the biggest and most advanced cyber threats facing organizations worldwide. As technology evolves, global ransomware attacks have surged, with millions of attacks recorded worldwide. Ransomware attacks on manufacturing firms account for nearly 25% of all attacks, with government organizations and professional services following closely. Universities and schools have also been hit hard by ransomware attacks as they try to move to hybrid or virtual classes amidst the Covid-19 crisis. Unfortunately, many organizations fail to act upon ransomware beforehand, and it is only after an attack has occurred that they rush to deploy resources to bolster their cyber security defense.
1- Intrusion Prevention
Organizations can get detailed insight into their network traffic by installing intrusion detection technologies into their systems. These technologies provide real-time network monitoring to help identify any anomalies suggesting your systems are compromised. Intrusion detection technologies give alerts upon detecting any suspicious activity on your network, enabling speedy threat detection and response.
2- Cyber Security Training
Most ransomware attacks happen when a worker clicks a link or attachment from a malicious email. Therefore, it is vital to make your employees aware of potential cyber security threats to ensure they can effectively recognize potential ransomware attacks before they happen. The training should teach workers how phishing emails look like and ways they can avoid them. If possible, incorporate phishing simulation tests into your multi-layered training to help increase awareness and identify staff vulnerable to ransomware attacks.
3- Data Backup
It is wise to conduct regular data backups to minimize damage caused by a ransomware attack. Experts recommend the 3-2-1 rule as the best approach for ransomware attack recovery and backup. The approach entails storing three copies of your data in at least two different storage devices, with at least one copy stored offsite. Similarly, it is recommendable to test your backups regularly to ensure they are working as expected. With a data backup, it will be easier and quicker to recover from a ransomware attack without making a ransom payment. In short, backups speed up recovery following a ransomware attack and lessen the impact of a potential threat. Consider backing up your data offline or in separate devices that you can easily access in the event of a malware attack.
4- Regular OS and Software Updates
Hackers are always on the lookout for vulnerable applications and operating systems where they can deploy ransomware. But this threat can be prevented by applying new patches immediately after network vendors release them. Patching has proved to prevent up to 85% of potential ransomware attacks by keeping apps and operating systems stable, up to date, and safe from cyberattacks.
5- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Hackers often use stolen employee credentials to infiltrate systems and networks and deploy ransomware. They obtain these credentials from data breaches or phishing attacks. But enabling multi-factor authentication can make it harder for cybercriminals to access your network without biometric data, code, pin, or token.
Organizations across all industries are becoming popular targets for ransomware attacks. Cybercriminals use ransomware to encrypt your files and demand a ransom payment. Ransomware can infiltrate individual devices, servers, and enterprise networks and lead to critical data loss. However, the above-discussed tips can help thwart potential ransomware before they happen.