Ransomware attacks can hit anywhere and are becoming increasingly more expensive for businesses of all sizes.
Forty-six percent of all small businesses have been targeted with ransomware and of those that become victims of a ransomware infection, 73% have had to pay the ransom to regain access to their files.
How much did they pay?
- $10,000 – $50,000 (43%)
- Over $100,000 (13%)
The amount of damage done to an organization hit with ransomware can vary greatly according to how well prepared they are with things like backup and recovery and managed IT security services.
For example, in November of 2019 the City of Okeechobee was hit with a ransomware attack, but the city was very well prepared, so it was caught quickly, and systems were put back online within a day.
However, when the City of Fort Pierce was hit with ransomware, it had to pay nearly $950,000 in ransom to get its systems back up and running. The City of Stuart chose not to pay a ransom when its server was infected with ransomware, but due to a lack of backup, it lost years of police department investigation data.
Why is Ransomware So Devastating?
The reason that ransomware is one of the most devastating types of malware is because it locks a business out of its files, pretty much shutting it down or severely crippling operations until the data can be restored.
Ransomware infects a system and will encrypt files, making them unreadable. Some other forms of ransomware simply lock users out of their files.
This type of malware is also designed to move quickly and infect as many devices on a network as possible and it can even infect files in cloud storage applications that are syncing with an infected computer.
If an organization doesn’t have a backup to restore, it faces the unpleasant choice of either having to pay a ransom and hope the hacker holds up their end of the deal, or to lose years’ worth of data that can hamper its forward motion for months or years.
How to Safeguard Against a Ransomware Attack
Safeguarding against a ransomware attack requires both a preventive strategy and a disaster recovery strategy.
You need to put systems in place to help prevent cybercrime and resulting ransomware infections in the first place, but you also need to be ready should your business be hit with ransomware.
Here are several tips for protecting your company from ransomware and the accompanying costs.
Use a Monitored Antivirus/Anti-Malware
How a monitored antivirus/anti-malware differs from one that is not monitored, is that it’s put in place by an IT provider, like Cris’s Tech Repair, and it’s monitored to ensure it’s running as it should and identifying any threats proactively.
If you have unmonitored antivirus on your work computers or server, there is a chance it can stop running, be turned off by accident, or otherwise disabled.
Protect Against Phishing with Email Filtering
94% of malware is delivered via phishing email, which makes this an important security area to address. Phishing has become increasingly sophisticated and difficult to spot.
To reduce the risk of a ransomware infection caused by an employee being tricked by a phishing scam, you want to reduce the number of phishing emails that make it into staff inboxes.
Email filtering and anti-phishing software can help filter out both spam and phishing to improve cybersecurity and reduce risk.
Use a Web Protection Application
Phishing emails often use links to malicious websites rather than file attachments these days to get past antivirus applications. When a user gets to one of those sites, they often download ransomware or other malware onto their system as soon as the page loads.
To protect against this, you want to put a web protection application in place on all devices (this is also called DNS filtering). This blocks malicious sites even after a URL was clicked, redirecting the user to a warning page.
Use a Reliable Managed Backup & Recovery Application
Another application that you want to have monitored is your data backups. Backups can stop or get stalled for a number of reasons. If they’re not monitored, they can easily stop backing up data and leave you in trouble if you’re hit with ransomware.
One of the reasons that the City of Okeechobee was able to come out of its ransomware attack nearly unscathed is because it had a reliable backup of its data that was able to be quickly restored.
Having a reliable cloud backup and recovery application is vital to recovering quickly from a ransomware attack, avoiding any data loss, and not having to pay an expensive ransom.
Put Reliable Ransomware Protection Systems in Place Today!
Cris’s Tech Repair can help your Lake Okeechobee area business be ready for ransomware and protected from a costly attack.
Schedule a cybersecurity consultation today by calling 561-985-4961 or contacting us online.