Paying ransomware may not be the best solution for an organization. On the other hand, investing in proper security could go a long way in mitigating any potential attacks.
The latest statistics reveal that ransomware attacks have been rising for several years. These attacks can cost enormous amounts of money, ranging from hundreds of thousands to even millions of dollars for large corporations. This is why cybersecurity has become a very crucial function in recent times. Many companies are forced to pay the ransomware, but this is not the ideal solution.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a malignant software that encrypts one’s data and demands a ransom from the user in exchange for unlocking files. Victims of ransomware are often left without many choices. They can either pay the ransom to regain access to their encrypted data, restore their data from backups, or hope that a decryption key is freely available. Or they have to start from scratch.
How much can a ransomware attack cost?
There is no limit to what an attacker can demand as ransom. It depends on the type of ransomware and the size of the target organization. Attackers can demand massive amounts to release access to one’s network and the data it houses. Most companies pay the ransom, as being locked out for even a few hours could potentially mean millions of dollars in lost revenue. But this may not be the best solution, as you could get hit by more attacks in the future.
Why are small businesses popular targets for ransomware?
Small businesses are the easiest targets for cybercriminals. They tend to be less protected than larger organizations. Also, many of them think that they won’t be the ones who attract the attention of such hackers. This isn’t true – smaller ransoms are easier to collect and more profitable for hackers!
Tips to prevent a ransomware attack
- Ensure ports are not unnecessarily exposed to the Internet
When running a business, it’s crucial to run security software and keep your OS updated. If you don’t, you might fall victim to hacking. One of the most common ways cybercriminals can access their victims’ computers is by exploiting insecure ports on the system or remote desktop protocols. Therefore, ensure that your ports and services are not exposed to the internet – unless necessary. Also, ensure that team members are using complex passwords on all accounts and servers.
- Get regular security updatesOrganizations and customers should make sure that the network is updated with the latest security patches. Many forms of ransomware and other programs are spread via commonly used vulnerabilities in software.
- Educate employees on identifying attacks
To help protect your company’s computer network from malware infections, you must train employees to watch out for the signs of potential malware attacks. When it comes to stopping attacks by email, you should provide your employees with training on spotting a phishing attack.
- Take authentication seriously
Employers must keep antivirus software up-to-date to help their employees stay on top of essential security updates and features. Employers should also make sure they offer the option of having two-step authentication installed during login and backing up files frequently so that they are never compromised during a cyber attack.
- Maintain backups
Having a secure, offline backup of all files and other important data can be a big help in mitigating any potential ransomware attacks. The files should be thoroughly secured so that potential hackers cannot have any access to it.