12-27-21 | Blog Post

4 Ways to Protect your Business from Ransomware

Blog Posts

Ransomware has become a keyword that triggers a quiver-like response in most business owners and IT Managers. This is for a good reason, as Ransomware has the ability to encrypt all of your business-critical data, disabling you access to the most important pieces of your enterprise. Cybercrimes, like Ransomware, are the fastest growing causes of data center outages, up 22 percent in 2016, and can cost you upwards of $3M in down-time costs. Don’t let a cyber-criminal ruin your reputation or halt your sales, take initiative to prepare yourself now! The cost to prepare is minuscule, compared to the impact of an attack, and WILL put you in a position where you will never have to negotiate with a criminal. Without further ado, here are four things you will need to protect yourself from those pesky cyber criminals.

1. Email Security

Email is the #1 transmission model for these ransomware hackers! Virus-injected email links (31%) and attachments (28%) make up 59% of all infection methods. Often, Ransomware families impersonate your friends, family members, as well as co-workers, to try to get you to click on their link. For IT departments, finding specific ways to halt these malicious URLs and infected attachments needs to be of high priority. But how do you identify malicious emails?

To do this on your own, it will take a significant amount of man hours to initiate an assortment of point solutions that prevent ransomware. The best option is to invest in an email security tool. Email security will not only protect your system from these CryptoLocker (ransomware) attacks, it will defend against spear phishing attacks and any CFO fraud. Wait, so how do they do it?

The three levels of defense approach is how!

  1. URL protection scans and prevents a user from clicking on a link, until determined virus-free. Every URL, both live and archived email, are scanned swiftly and seamlessly to ensure protection.
  2. Attachment protection allows a user to view an attachment in a safe format, as the software analyzes the attachment. Once determined safe, that is when the attachment will be able to be viewed the way it was intended.
  3. Phishing protection, disables any impersonation threats (or any other dangers that use social engineering techniques), that are manipulative and trick users in to revealing sensitive information to deceitful accounts.

Remember: Ransomware isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so you must protect yourself while you can.

2. Firewall

A website or web application, other than email or social media, equates to 24% of all ransomware attacks. Malicious programs disguise themselves as legitimate software to trick you into clicking on an infected link.

Do you have a firewall to protect yourself from this?

If so keep it turned on and properly configured at ALL times.  If possible, you will want to increase your protection, to aid in the defense against a trespass. A firewall is your first line of defense while you crawl the web. Without this protection, you are not only more susceptible to an attack, but will also put a big red target on your back, displaying your vulnerabilities to ransomware distributors.

Remember: Just one click can infect you!

3. Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)

An Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) will protect your business against the most advanced attacks with extreme accuracy. An IPS uses multiple forms of techniques to do so, including deep packet inspection, threat reputation, and advanced malware analysis. It lets the consumer take a proactive approach to security, giving them:

  • Comprehensive contextual awareness
  • In-depth analysis of traffic in/out of network
  • Attributes needed to keep pace with the dynamic force of security

Not only will your data, applications, and infrastructure be protected from Ransomware (and everything else) you can rest easy knowing it won’t affect your networks performance in the slightest.

4. Backup

In the case that you get infected, having an off-site backup in the cloud already in place will effectively mitigate your breach problem. On top of having a rigorous backup plan you should also have a disaster recovery regimen, which will help you restore your systems to a pre-ransomware attack level.

As mentioned, one backup copy on premise, is not enough to overcome an attack, as hackers can encrypt local backup servers. A best practice to avoid these attacks would be to follow the 3-2-1 Rule (three copies of your data, on two forms of media, with one copy located offsite). Following this rule will enable an organization to significantly reduce the risk of losing critical data in the event of a Ransomware attack, as it takes away all of the leverage away from the cyber criminals.

Remember: backups can be a life saver after an attack, but only if you move them offsite!

The Bottom Line

CryptoLocker (Ransomware) is a hateful virus that will put a damper on your business. Although not life-threatening to you personally, it can halt sales and damage the reputation to your business. The cost of an attack is far superior to the cost of prevention, so why not protect yourself while you can.

If you feel ambiguity when it comes to protecting yourself, or you just don’t have enough time to implement all of this, Otava can do all of it for you.

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