12-27-21 | Blog Post

Best Practices for Preventing Ransomware Attacks

Blog Posts

Businesses are losing millions of dollars to ransomware attacks. It holds your business’ data hostage in exchange for money demands. Within a short amount of time, the ransom will double or your data will be lost forever. The most recent large scale ransomware attack, WannaCry, was a worldwide virus that infected Microsoft Office applications. This specific ransom demand was $600 per infected device, payable in Bitcoin only. It infected thousands of small to medium size businesses, but large, enterprise business are susceptible too. The City of Atlanta was shut down in March due to a ransomware attack.

The costs of ransomware can pile up; not only is there the cost associated with paying the ransom, but the cost of downtime or lost files could be catastrophic to your business. Following these best practices can help your business avoid a ransomware attack.

Don’t wait to Protect your Business

We all know that feeling when your computer gets infected. It’s a nerve-racking experience and it makes your heart skip a beat. Now, imagine this on a larger scale, on every machine in your organization. Imagine your business handles sensitive patient information, or banking records, or credit card information. Your heart might skip more than a beat! It takes just one employee who clicks on an infected email link or URL to seriously threaten your business.

Moving to the Cloud

Moving to the Cloud provides peace of mind. If your business does get hit by a ransomware attack, you can roll over to the unencrypted, virus-free versions of your data. Also, Cloud providers like Otava constantly update the software and applications that your business accesses daily via the Cloud. You’ll always be running on the newest versions of software and applications that are patched up with security updates.

Backing up your Data

The most effective way to protect your business from a ransomware attack is to backup your data. In the case of a ransomware attack, you’ll want to roll back to your clean, non-encrypted files immediately to prevent prolonged downtime and additional damage. In the Cloud, you have immediate access to backup riles. With other forms of backups like disks or USB storage devices, that recovery process might take days if these backups are stored offsite and far away. A best practice for data backup is to follow the 3-2-1-1 rule: 3 copies of your data on 2 different media, with at least 1 copy offsite (in the Cloud!), and 1 copy that is air gapped to ensure it is free from any harmful viruses and encryption. Rolling onto backups of non-encrypted, virus-free versions of data is the most effective way to beat a ransomware attack. Not to mention, this strategy protects your data in the case of other serious disasters and threats!

Training employees

The number one cause of a ransomware attack is human error. Employees should have frequent security training and be educated to avoid and report suspicious emails and links. Most companies today will internally send out phishing emails to employees to supplement training. Part of on-boarding should include technology security courses. Other best practices include putting guest devices on a separate WiFi network, ensuring employees don’t access personal email accounts on your network, and never putting off a security software updates.

The Bottom Line:

Here at Otava, we provide the tools to help protect your business from a Ransomware attack, including email security, IPS (Intrusion Prevention System), Backup, and Firewall solutions. We can integrate these solutions into your current business. Prepare your business from ransomware today and learn more by watching our on-demand webinar on Ransomware Preparedness and Recovery.

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