You’ve probably heard about ransomware in the news – it targets businesses of all sizes and types, including schools, hospitals, government bodies and critical infrastructure like the Colonial Pipeline. Attacks can devastate productivity and cost your business millions to recover.
Common-sense advice includes scanning computers with antivirus software, backing up data regularly, and updating your systems. However, more is needed to protect against the latest and most damaging threats.
The information in a business’s networks and computer systems is often more valuable than the items it sells, making it a prime target for cyber attacks. Ransomware, in particular, is a damaging type of malware that encrypts files and demands payment from the victim to unlock them.
As a small business, you likely don’t have an army of cybersecurity experts on staff – which is why it’s crucial to find the best antivirus software for small businesses that can help your team avoid malware-based data breaches. The best antivirus programs provide real-time monitoring, effective isolation, thorough eradication and rollback to an earlier state.
Other tools can offer improved ransomware protection by combining adaptive scanning, cloud sandboxing, machine learning and in-depth behavioral analysis. They also allow users to customize a security playbook to launch automated responses when a threat is detected.
Other useful ransomware solutions offer a managed threat response service that monitors streams of events for signs of ransomware activity. Its intuitive endpoint detection and response tool is easy to use, light on device resources and effective at blocking ransomware threats. It can even detect and prevent evasive ransomware attacks, such as scareware or RaaS, which extort money by showing users scary alerts and pop-up messages. It can also prevent doxware, which threatens to publish your sensitive data on the internet unless you pay a ransom.
A ransomware decryptor is a software tool that analyzes and compares a file with its non-encrypted counterpart. If it finds a match, it will decrypt the affected file. A program is powerful because many small businesses need more resources to build their anti-ransomware swat team.
When ransomware enters your business, it encrypts files, making them unusable. Threat actors then demand a ransom to release the data. Paying the ransom is a bad idea. Not only does it line the pockets of crooks, but it also encourages them to target more businesses. Instead, it would help if you created a data backup and recovery strategy that can quickly restore all your files when an attack occurs.
Another preventative measure against ransomware is to establish access controls based on privilege. This will only allow workers with essential job duties to access critical systems, making it more difficult for ransomware to spread throughout your network. You can also implement software restriction policies and multifactor authentication to reduce the likelihood of hackers infiltrating your company’s system.
Educating employees on cybersecurity, best practices is another key to ransomware prevention. You should provide formal training twice yearly and regular email updates about the latest threats. These tools help your staff recognize suspicious emails and avoid falling into cybercriminals’ traps.
Imagine logging into your work computer to find you are blocked from your files and told to pay a ransom or lose everything. At the same time, it sounds like a horror movie, cyber attacks on small businesses are all too real, with the number of incidents increased by 300% in 2021 alone. Ransomware is a lucrative hack for attackers who can sell your data on the black market, halt your operations, and take your business offline.
Cyberattacks are growing increasingly sophisticated and targeting every type of business, including small businesses. With fewer resources to protect their systems than larger organizations, many small businesses are easy targets for attackers. In addition, most don’t employ top cybersecurity protections necessary to defend against ransomware and other attacks.
Vulnerability scanners help to prevent cyberattacks by identifying gaps in your security. They detect vulnerabilities and generate a report on them. They can be non-intrusive, determining the probability of an attack and providing a risk assessment, or intrusive, attempting to exploit the vulnerability.
Incorporating vulnerability scanning into your security strategy helps prevent ransomware and other attacks. Other best practices include backing up your data regularly, storing it offline and keeping your operating system’s security patches up to date. Additionally, train employees on best practices for opening emails, avoiding suspicious attachments, and implementing a policy to block phishing sites. Having an incident response plan in place can also be helpful in a ransomware attack by allowing you to quickly identify contaminated devices and servers to shut them down or isolate the attack.
A business is most vulnerable to ransomware if it does not have reliable data backups. Ransomware is a malware attack that encrypts files and restricts access until the victim pays a ransom demand. Hackers use the spell to extort money from small businesses by forcing them offline. Paying a ransom is not recommended because it encourages attackers, and there is no guarantee the attacker will provide decryption keys even after payment.
Backups are copies of data stored on a secondary location to be restored in the event of deletion, file corruption, hardware failure or unforeseen disasters. A typical backup solution uses a combination of different types of backups to ensure that the most recent file copy is available for recovery.
The most basic and comprehensive type of backup is a full backup, which creates a complete copy of all data in one operation. However, this type of backup can be slow and requires more storage space than other backup types.
Differential backups capture and synchronize only the data that has changed since the last backup, resulting in smaller backup operations and less overall storage space needed. This backup method also provides redundancies by using multiple types of backup media, such as tapes and disks (with RAID levels like 0/1 or 3/6), to reduce the risk of a backup device failure.