Preparing for Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware: the Latest Cybercrime Boom
Ransomware has become the threat-du-jour for organizations of all sizes. IT teams struggle to keep up with the rapidly changing threat landscape and a barrage of attacks from cybercriminals while end-users face regular cyber threats such as phishing, vishing, whaling and other internet-villainy.
It is hardly surprising that ransomware has become so ubiquitous and lucky – it’s a booming business for cybercriminals and has an impressive ability to sneak past existing defenses like secure email gateways and desktop anti-virus software.
The frustration of those affected by these problems is palpable. Most are now looking at a broader cross-section of strategies and tactics to protect themselves and, more importantly, recover post attack, rather than rely on pure-play security solutions alone.
The key to better protection lies with essential systems and processes that assess vulnerabilities, educate end users and ensure data recovery. Basic security is no longer sufficient. Preparing for Ransomware attacks involves training, testing, policies, and preparation – which can sometimes be daunting to a SMB owner.
Using a multi-layered approach to data protection that includes the ability for end users to identify potential threats plays a big part in reducing vulnerability. Use the following tactics to augment an organizations security and defense:
- Use a third-party provider to conduct simulated phishing e-mail campaigns, a safe and secure method to assess vulnerability at the end-user level. These simulations provide real-time and valuable information regarding employee behavior and assists management in understanding corporate risk.
- Implement a cybersecurity education and testing program that raises awareness and trains users to be more cyber alert and how to react to potential threats. More critical than perpetual education is an ongoing management commitment to testing the effectiveness of it. These education programs are often available through the same provider and are surprisingly affordable.
- Most notably, plans should include the ability to restore infected data and systems into a pre-ransomware, production state. Implementing data backup policies that provide offsite data storage provides 100% confidence for data recoverability. Having the offsite copy with a DRaaS provider gives added assurance that critical systems can be recovered in the cloud promptly in the event of a significant corporate-wide security breach.