Ransomware is a type of malware that restricts access to computers, servers, backups, and other devices by encrypting the company’s data until a ransom, usually in the form of cryptocurrency, is paid. Ransomware attacks are becoming more common, posing a threat to both individuals and organizations, but there are steps you can do to protect yourself.
Cyber-attacks have now become the norm, ranging from damaging entire fuel pipelines to compromising hospital networks. The malware encrypts your data requiring a unique key to unlock it. Such threats have the potential to swiftly spread across computers and networks. You may be entirely locked out of the system, as well as any other devices on the same network. This not only has the potential to be catastrophic if you lose access to your most important data and systems, but it also forces you to consider if you're ready to pay to regain access to those files and devices.
How to protect from ransomware:
Don’t download or install unknown apps:
Keeping ransomware away from your computer isn't much different from keeping other types of malware off your computer, and the guidelines are the same. A ransomware threat cannot take place until the attacker has gained access to your system, which is commonly accomplished through the use of a malicious program. If you're not aware of where a file originated from, don't download or open it from the web or email. Cybercriminals are now employing a range of social engineering techniques, such as spoofing an emergency email from your employer to persuade you to install something you shouldn't or to download something that appears to be an attachment but isn't. Consider your options before turning on and executing anything on your computer, particularly if it comes as a surprise.
A company may recover from a cyber-attack with little data loss and without paying a ransom if it uses automated, secured data backups. Maintaining frequent data backups as a normal procedure is critical for preventing data loss and ensuring data recovery in the case of corruption or disc hardware failure. Functional backups can also help companies in recovering from ransomware attacks.
Patching is an important part of guarding against ransomware attacks since cybercriminals frequently hunt for newly discovered flaws in updates and then target systems that haven't been patched. As a result, businesses need to make sure that all of their systems are patched, as this decreases the number of possible vulnerabilities that an attacker may use.
Cyber Awareness Education and Training:
Phishing emails are frequently used to transmit ransomware. It is critical to educate people on how to recognize and prevent ransomware attacks. Since many cyber-attacks begin with a targeted email that contains no malware at all, but rather a text or message that urges the user to click on a link that leads to an attack, user education is frequently seen as one of the most critical protections a company can implement.
Use a strong password:
While ransomware normally targets the device and the data on it, hackers may also access your files on the cloud, encrypt them, and demand a ransom. Always use strong passwords for all of your accounts, preferably with the help of a password manager, and have two-factor authentication set on all of your accounts.
Some other controls:
- Apply policies that disallow users from installing software
- Do not grant administrators access to workstations
- Install antivirus software to identify harmful applications like ransomware as soon as they appear
- Use a robust firewall to prevent unauthorized applications from running
- Run DNS filtering and web protection
- Use robust anti-spam and anti-phishing filtering
- Use Network Intrusion Detection Systems (NIDS), Managed Detection and Response (MDR), and Network Security Monitoring (NSM) Technologies
- Use strong encryption on all protocols
- Implement robust Remote Access and Vendor/Third-Party policies