Ransomware 101- How Much Is Your Data Worth to You?

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What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, designed to deny access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid. Ransomware typically spreads through phishing emails or by unknowingly visiting an infected website.

Ransomware can be devastating to an individual or an organization. Anyone with important data stored on their computer or network is at risk, including government or law enforcement agencies, healthcare systems and other entities with critical infrastructure.

Types of Ransomware

There are two main types of ransomware: Crypto and Locker ransomware. Crypto ransomware encrypts valuable files on the user’s computer so that they are not accessible. Cyber criminals implement crypto ransomware attacks when they demand a ransom payment. Locker ransomware does not encrypt files like Crypto does. Locker ransomware attacks lock users completely out of their device. These and all ransomware variants rely on similar forms of social engineering tactics to deceive users and infiltrate their network. Once the attacker gains access to an account or system, they can hold users data hostage.

How Can You Protect Your Organization from a Data Breach?

Basic measures such as firewall or antivirus do not leave you completely protected. Antivirus is simply good practice and should be considered the first step in your foundational security. It is not effective for stopping advanced security threats such as ransomware.

Use these tips to help put yourself in a better position in the event of a data breach within your organization:

  1. Establish business continuity and data recovery plans. Make sure you regularly rehearse them.
  2. Identify and document essential systems and recovery priorities.
  3. Regularly back-up your systems. Ensure that the backups are tested on a regular basis.
  4. Regularly update and patch your systems.
  5. Enable and enforce multi-factor authentication. This should be enabled and enforced for all logins.
  6. Implement the principle of least privilege. This should be applied across the entire organization.
  7. Configure firewalls. Set them up to deny any traffic that is not required and explicitly allowed.
  8. Require ongoing cybersecurity awareness training for all employees. Employees must be trained on the importance of cybersecurity and the practices that will keep both their information and that of the organization safe. They should be able to identify malicious emails or activities and be aware of incident reporting procedures.


What Can You Do to Ensure Your Business is Protected?

The first step is understanding your risks. This can be done internally, or you can choose to partner with an IT firm to complete a formal risk assessment (recommended). Most regulated organizations are required to obtain third party audits and assessments to help them understand where to start with mitigating risks. Our team of experts can complete a deep dive of your network and infrastructure to determine risks and develop a roadmap on how to mitigate risks and create a solid cybersecurity posture.

We are a full-service award-winning managed security provider with a team of professionals with vast knowledge in our tools we provide and we are able to consult and design a plan based on your specific business needs. If you are interested in meeting with one of our experts give us a call at (855) 411-3387 or reach out to us here to schedule a consultation.

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